Little is known about the pathophysiological factors that determine the clinical severity of acute pancreatitis. Because impairment of pancreatic circulation and oxygenation is associated with greater disease severity and morphological damage in experimental pancreatitis it has been suggested that various vasoactive mediators might participate in the progression from the oedematous to the necrotising variety of the disease. This study used an animal model of acute pancreatitis induced by intravenous caeruleint (10 micrograms/kg/h for up to six hours), which does not entail either haemorrhage or significant necrosis of the pancreas. This study considered whether the administration or the inhibition of either nitric oxide, bradykinin, or adrenergic mediators can convert this mild variety into haemorrhagic and necrotising pancreatitis. Neither nitric oxide nor catecholamines were involved in the progression from oedematous to haemorrhagic pancreatitis. Their substitution, activation, and inhibition all failed to change the severity of the disease process. Bradykinin alone seemed to be critically involved in the pathogenesis of pancreatic haemorrhage and necrosis. However, the inhibition of bradykinin and not its activation or substitution increased the severity of the disease.
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