Ethyl pyruvate improves survival and ameliorates distant organ injury in rats with severe acute pancreatitis

Pancreas. 2007 Oct;35(3):256-61. doi: 10.1097/MPA.0b013e318064678a.


Objective: To evaluate the effect of ethyl pyruvate (EP) in improving the survival and ameliorating distant organ damage and to investigate the role of high-mobility group box (HMGB) 1 in rats with established severe acute pancreatitis (SAP).

Methods: Severe acute pancreatitis was induced by retrograde infusion of sodium taurodeoxycholate (5%, 1 mL/kg) into the biliopancreatic ducts in male Wistar rats. The rats were infused intravenously with EP of 40 mg/kg, 4 mg/kg, and 0.4 mg/kg initiating 12 hours, and EP of 40 mg/kg was administered beginning 2 hours before surgery (-2 hours) and 12, 24, and 36 hours after induction of SAP; then, the mortality was recorded. Serum tumor necrosis factor alpha, interleukin (IL) 6, and IL-1beta were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. High-mobility group box 1 levels were measured using Western immunoblotting analysis.

Results: Serum HMGB1 levels were increased dramatically after 12 hours, remained at high levels for 72 hours, and were significantly higher in rats with SAP than in those with mild and moderate pancreatitis (P < 0.01). Treatment with EP (40 mg/kg) conferred protection from lethality of SAP (EP survival [63%] vs vehicle survival [6.3%]; P < 0.001). No survival advantage occurred when treatment was initiated 36 hours after surgery, but administration beginning 2 hours before operation (-2 hours) and 12 and 24 hours after induction of SAP significantly increased survival. Ethyl pyruvate treatment significantly decreased serum HMGB1, tumor necrosis factor alpha, IL-1beta, and IL-6 levels and ameliorated extrapancreatic organ dysfunction in rats with SAP.

Conclusions: Ethyl pyruvate improves survival and ameliorates distant organ injury of SAP. These beneficial effects of EP are because of the modulation of HMGB1 and other inflammatory cytokine responses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use*
  • Biomarkers
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • HMGB1 Protein
  • High Mobility Group Proteins / blood*
  • Interleukin-1beta / blood
  • Interleukin-6 / blood
  • Kidney / drug effects
  • Kidney / pathology*
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / pathology*
  • Male
  • Pancreatitis / blood
  • Pancreatitis / chemically induced
  • Pancreatitis / drug therapy*
  • Pancreatitis / pathology
  • Pyruvates / administration & dosage
  • Pyruvates / therapeutic use*
  • Random Allocation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Repressor Proteins / blood*
  • Taurodeoxycholic Acid / toxicity
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / analysis


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Biomarkers
  • HMGB1 Protein
  • Hbp1 protein, rat
  • High Mobility Group Proteins
  • Interleukin-1beta
  • Interleukin-6
  • Pyruvates
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • ethyl pyruvate
  • Taurodeoxycholic Acid