Acute pancreatitis is an inflammatory disease characterized by interstitial edema, inflammatory cell infiltration, and acinar cell necrosis, depending on its severity. Regardless of the extent of tissue injury, acute pancreatitis is a completely reversible process with evident normal tissue architecture after recovery. Its pathogenic mechanism has been known to be closely related to intracellular digestive enzyme activation. In contrast to acute pancreatitis, chronic pancreatitis is characterized by irreversible tissue damage such as acinar cell atrophy and pancreatic fibrosis that results in exocrine and endocrine insufficiency. Recently, many studies of chronic pancreatitis have been prompted by the discovery of the pancreatic stellate cell, which has been identified and distinguished as the key effector cell of pancreatic fibrosis. However, investigations into the pathogenesis and treatment of pancreatitis face many obstacles because of its anatomical location and disparate clinical course. Due to these difficulties, most of our knowledge on pancreatitis is based on research conducted using experimental models of pancreatitis. In this review, several experimental models of pancreatitis will be discussed in terms of technique, advantages, and limitations.
Keywords: Animal; Experiment; Models; Pancreatitis.