Plasma Immunoreactive Cationic Trypsin(ogen) Pattern in Reserpinized Rat Model of Cystic Fibrosis: Resemblance to Humans

Zvi Weizman

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2 Scopus citations


Plasma immunoreactive cationic trypsin(ogen) is elevated in cystic fibrosis during early infancy, before exocrine pancreatic insufficiency is fully developed. The recently developed cystic fibrosis mouse model carrying a mutated gene presents only minor pathologic findings in the pancreas. However, the reserpinized rat model shows cystic fibrosis-like defects in various exocrine glands, including the exocrine pancreas. Plasma immunoreactive cationic trypsin(ogen) has not been studied yet in this model. The present study explored the plasma immunoreactive cationic trypsin(ogen) pattern and possible mechanisms in this rat model. Plasma immunoreactive cationic trypsin(ogen) (RIA), pancreatic juice volume, protein, and trypsin, and pancreas weight were determined in rats treated with reserpine (0.5 mg/kg/day subcutaneously) for four or seven days, following cerulein stimulation (5 μg/kg/dose intraperitoneally), versus pair-fed controls. The first of four consecutive 30 min periods revealed peak values in all parameters. Four-day reserpine-treated rats demonstrated significantly higher plasma immunoreactive cationic trypsin(ogen) levels (167.3 ± 12.8 vs 88.9 ± 6.1 ng/ml; P < 0.0001) with similar values of pancreatic juice trypsin (8.2 ± 2.4 vs 6.6 ± 1.8 units/mg protein; P = NS) and volume (5.6 ± 1.3 vs 4.2 ± 1.6 mg/min/g pancreas; P = NS), compared to controls. Rats treated with reserpine for seven days revealed significantly lower values of plasma immunoreactive cationic trypsin(ogen) (39.2 ± 8.4 vs 66.8 ± 4.9 ng/ml; P < 0.001), pancreatic juice trypsin (1.9 ± 0.3 vs 3.2 ± 0.9 units/mg protein; P < 0.001) and volume (1.6 ± 0.7 vs 3.1 ± 0.6 mg/min/g pancreas; P < 0.001) compared to controls. We conclude that the reserpinized rat model resembles human cystic fibrosis as to elevated plasma immunoreactive cationic trypsin(ogen) before exocrine pancreatic insufficiency is fully developed. Since exocrine pancreatic volume secretion is intact at this stage, the mechanism of elevated plasma immunoreactive cationic trypsin is probably not due to ductular obstruction. We suggest that this model be studied further in order to investigate other possible mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)853-858
Number of pages6
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1996


  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Exocrine pancreas
  • Trypsin(ogen)


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