Jonathan Hardman, Saurabh Jamdar, Conor Shields, H Paul Redmond, Ray McMahon, Ajith K Siriwardena
Context Oxidative stress is understood to have a critical role in the development of acinar injury in experimental acute pancreatitis. We have previously demonstrated that compound multiple antioxidant therapy ameliorates end-organ damage in the intra-peritoneal L-arginine rat model. As the principal co-factor for glutathione, selenium is a key constituent of multiple antioxidant preparations. Objective The intention of this study was to investigate the effect of selenium on pancreatic and remote organ injury in a wellvalidated experimental model of acute pancreatitis. Methods Male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly allocated to one of 3 groups (n=5/group) and sacrificed at 72 hours. Acute pancreatitis was induced by 250 mg per 100 g body weight of 20% L-arginine hydrochloride in 0.15 mol/L sodium chloride. Group allocations were: Group 1, control; Group 2, acute pancreatitis; Group 3, selenium. Main outcome measures Serum amylase, anti-oxidant levels, bronchoalveolar lavage protein, lung myeloperoxidase activity, and histological assessment of pancreatic injury. Results L-arginine induced acute pancreatitis characterised by oedema, neutrophil infiltration, acinar cell degranulation and elevated serum amylase. Selenium treatment was associated with reduced pancreatic oedema and inflammatory cell infiltration. Acinar degranulation and dilatation were completely absent. A reduction in bronchoalveolar lavage protein content was also demonstrated. Conclusion Intravenous selenium given 24 hours after induction of experimental acute pancreatitis was associated with a reduction in the histological stigmata of pancreatic injury and a dramatic reduction in broncho-alveolar lavage protein content. Serum selenium fell during the course of experimental acute pancreatitis and this effect was not reversed by exogenous selenium supplementation.