Ethyl pyruvate treatment ameliorates pancreatic damage: evidence from a rat model of acute necrotizing pancreatitis

Arch Med Sci. 2019 Jan;15(1):232-239. doi: 10.5114/aoms.2017.65231. Epub 2017 Jan 23.


Introduction: Ethyl pyruvate (EP), a natural flavoring and fragrance agent, has been shown to exert anti-inflammatory and antioxidant actions. We tested the potential beneficial effects of EP in a rat model of acute necrotizing pancreatitis (ANP), a serious condition with a significant inflammatory explosion and oxidative stress.

Material and methods: Fifty-two adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into four groups: sham + saline, sham + EP, ANP + saline, and ANP + EP. The ANP was induced by glycodeoxycholic acid and cerulein. Animals were sacrificed at 48 h and biochemical, hematological, and histological markers of ANP and inflammation were assessed. The extent of mortality, systemic cardiorespiratory variables, pancreatic microcirculation, renal/hepatic functions, acinar cell injury and enzyme markers for pancreas and lung tissues were investigated.

Results: The EP-treated ANP group presented significantly lower mortality than the untreated ANP group (44% (7/16) vs. 19% (3/16), respectively, p < 0.05). Administration of EP resulted in significantly lower levels of IL-6 (ANP + saline: 5470 ±280 vs. ANP + EP: 2250 ±180 pg/ml, p < 0.05). Compared with the ANP group, the ANP + EP group had a lower pancreatic necrosis score (1.45 ±0.2 vs. 0.96 ±0.2, p < 0.05). Moreover, intraperitoneal EP administration had a positive effect on most indices of pancreatitis (amylase and alanine transaminase levels) and lung damage (except lung malondialdehyde levels) as they decreased towards baseline values.

Conclusions: The results from this experimental study indicate that EP, a nontoxic chemical approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a food additive, provides positive effects on the course of pancreatitis, suggesting potential usefulness in management of ANP.

Keywords: acute necrotizing pancreatitis; ethyl pyruvate; pancreatitis; rat.