Effects of glycogen synthase kinase-3β inhibition on the development of cerulein-induced acute pancreatitis in mice

Salvatore Cuzzocrea, Giuseppe Malleo, Tiziana Genovese, Emanuela Mazzon, Emanuela Esposito, Carmelo Muià, Maha Abdelrahman, Rosanna Di Paola, Cristoph Thiemermann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: Glycogen synthase kinase (GSK)-3 is a ubiquitous serine-threonine protein kinase that participates in a multitude of cellular processes and signal transduction pathways. It also plays an important role in the pathophysiology of a number of diseases characterized by an enhanced or unregulated inflammatory response. Here we investigate the effects of GSK-3β inhibition on the development of experimental acute pancreatitis induced by cerulein in mice. DESIGN: Prospective, randomized study. SETTING: University-based research laboratory. SUBJECTS: One-hundred and sixty anesthetized male CD mice. INTERVENTIONS: Pancreatitis was induced by intraperitoneal injection of cerulein (hourly ×5, 50 μg/kg). In the treatment group, the potent and selective GSK-3β inhibitor 4-benzyl-2-methyl-1,2,4-thiadiazolidine-3,5-dione (TDZD-8) was administered 1 hr and 6 hrs after the first injection of cerulein (10 mg/kg, intraperitoneally). Sham groups were treated with vehicle (0.1 mL of 0.9% NaCl, intraperitoneally) and TDZD-8. In another set of experiments, mice were monitored for 24 days to determine their mortality rate. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: The injection of cerulein resulted in acute necrotizing pancreatitis. TDZD-8 significantly reduced the degree of pancreas injury, amylase, and lipase serum levels (p <.01); nuclear factor-κB activation (p <.01); the production of tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-1β (p <.01); the expression of adhesion molecules and neutrophil accumulation (p <.01); the formation of oxygen and nitrogen-derived radicals (p <.01); the degree of lipid peroxidation (p <.01); the expression of transforming growth factor-β and vascular endothelial growth factor (p <.01); and-ultimately-the mortality rate (p <.01). CONCLUSIONS: Inhibition of GSK-3β reduces the degree of cerulein-induced acute pancreatitis and the associated mortality rate in mice. Blocking protein kinase activity may be a novel approach to treatment of this inflammatory condition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2811-2821
Number of pages11
JournalCritical Care Medicine
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007


  • Acute pancreatitis
  • Adhesion molecules
  • Cytokines
  • Leukocytes
  • Oxidative stress
  • Protein kinase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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