Since pancreatic adaptation to massive proximal small bowel resection (PSBR) may be modulated through cholecystokinin (CCK) secretion, we tested the effect of the CCK antagonist CR-1409 on this response. Male Wistar rats (n = 72) weighing 220-225 g were randomised to receive either PSBR or transection/resuture followed by saline or CR-1409 (12 mg/kg daily subcutaneously). Rats were killed one, two, and three weeks post-operatively, at which time blood was obtained for CCK assay and the pancreas was assessed for proliferative activity by three parameters: nucleic acid and protein content, bromode-oxyuridine (BrdUrd) labelling index, and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) expression. PSBR increased plasma CCK concentration by 83-102% at 1-3 weeks, irrespective of CR-1409 administration. Total pancreatic DNA content per 100 g body weight increased by 34% at two weeks (p less than 0.05) and by 82% at three weeks (p less than 0.05), while RNA content increased by 60% and 178% (p less than 0.001) and protein content by 20% and 57% (p less than 0.05). PSBR increased the BrdUrd labelling index and the percentage of PCNA immunoreactive cells. CR-1409 completely abolished this proliferative response and also prevented the rise in nucleic acid and protein contents. Apart from growth stimulation, PSBR also enhanced pancreatic exocrine function, as shown by ultrastructural evidence of an appreciable decrease in zymogen granules; CR-1409 also inhibited this functional effect of hypercholecystokininaemia. The results confirm the tropic role of CCK after PSBR, and CR-1409 prevents this pancreatic adaptation.
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