Background: Acute pancreatitis is an inflammatory disease caused by several factors such as viral infection, drugs, and diagnostic endoscopy. The aim of this study was to evaluate the potential protective or therapeutic effects of L-lysine on pancreatitis induced by L-arginine in mice.
Methods: Four groups of mice (10 in each group) were assessed. Group I was the control. Animals in groups II-IV were injected intraperitoneally with L-arginine hydrochloride (400 mg/kg body weight [bw]) for 3 days. Group III animals were orally pre-treated with L-lysine (10 mg/kg bw), whereas group IV animals were orally post-treated with L-lysine (10 mg/kg bw). Serum samples were subjected to amylase, lipase, transaminase, and interleukin-6 (IL-6) assays. The pancreas was excised to measure the levels of malondialdehyde, nitric oxide, catalase, superoxide dismutase, reduced glutathione, and glutathione peroxidase.
Results: Pre- or post-treatment with L-lysine led to significant decreases in the levels of malondialdehyde and nitric oxide, while significant enhancement was observed in the activities of antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase) and glutathione (p < 0.001). However, the treatment potential of L-lysine was better as a protective agent than a therapeutic agent.
Conclusions: L-lysine treatment attenuates pancreatic tissue injury induced by L-arginine by inhibiting the release of the inflammatory cytokine IL-6 and enhance antioxidant activity. These effects may involve upregulation of anti-inflammatory factors and subsequent downregulation of IL6.