Background. The effects of the tyrosine kinase inhibitors, tyrphostin AG126 and AG556 in a murine model of acute pancreatitis are investigated. Methods. Intraperitoneal injection of cerulein in mice resulted in a severe, acute pancreatitis, which was characterized by edema, neutrophil infiltration, tissue hemorrhage, and cell necrosis as well as elevation in the serum activities of amylase or lipase. Results. Infiltration of the pancreatic tissue of these animals with neutrophils (measured as increase in myeloperoxidase activity) was associated with signs of enhanced lipid peroxidation (increased tissue levels of malondialdehyde). Immunohistochemical examination showed a marked increase in immunoreactivity for nitrotyrosine and poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) in the pancreas of cerulein-treated mice. Pretreatment or posttreatment with tyrphostin AG126 and AG556, 2 different tyrosine kinase inhibitors, significantly reduced the degree of pancreatic inflammation and tissue injury (histologic score). In particular, the treatment with the 2 tyrosine kinase inhibitors reduced the cerulein-induced nitrotyrosine formation and PARP activation in the pancreas as well as the systemic release of tumor necrosis factor alpha. Conclusions. This study provides the first evidence that (1) prevention of the activation of protein tyrosine kinases reduces the development of acute pancreatitis, and (2) inhibition of the activity of certain tyrosine kinases may represent a novel approach for the therapy of acute pancreatitis.
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