Pathomechanisms of Alcohol-Induced Damage
New Advances in Cell Physiology and Pathophysiology of the Exocrine PancreasMössner J.
University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany
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This review provides some aspects on the physiology of stimulation and inhibition of pancreatic digestive enzyme secretion and the pathophysiology of pancreatic acinar cell function leading to pancreatitis. Cholecystokinin (CCK) stimulates both directly via CCK-A receptors on acinar cells and indirectly via CCK-B receptors on nerves, followed by acetylcholine release, pancreatic enzyme secretion. It is still not known whether CCK-A receptors exist in human acinar cells, in contrast to acinar cells of rodents where CCK-A receptors have been well described. CCK has numerous actions both in the periphery and in the central nervous systems. CCK inhibits gastric motility and regulates satiety. Another major function of CCK is stimulation of gallbladder contraction. This function enables that bile acids act simultaneously with pancreatic lipolytic enzymes. Secretin is a major stimulator of bicarbonate secretion. Trypsinogen is activated by the gut mucosal enzyme enterokinase. The other pancreatic proenzymes are activated by trypsin. Termination of enzyme secretion may be regulated by negative feedback mechanisms via destruction of CCK-releasing peptides by trypsin. Furthermore, the ileum may act as a brake by release of inhibitory hormones such as PYY and somatostatin. In the pathophysiology of acute pancreatitis, fusion of zymogen granules with lysosomes leading to intracellular activation of trypsinogen is regarded as an initiation step. This activation of trypsinogen may be caused by the lysosomal enzyme cathepsin B. However, autoactivation of trypsinogen itself may be a possibility in pathogenesis. Autoactivation is enhanced in certain mutations of trypsinogen. Furthermore, an imbalance of protease inhibitors and active proteases may be involved. The role of pancreatic lipolytic enzymes, the role of bicarbonate secretion, and toxic Ca2+ signals by excessive liberation from the endoplasmic reticulum have to be discussed in the pathogenesis of acute pancreatitis.
© 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel
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