Effects of malnutrition and chronic reserpine treatment on pancreatic exocrine function

Dee Hazlett, Murray Korc, Patsy M. Brannon

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10 Scopus citations


The chronically reserpine-treated rat, an experimental model for cystic fibrosis, exhibits generalized exocrinopathy, impaired pancreatic secretion, and decreased pancreatic amylase. Although chronic reserpine treatment induces malnutrition by decreasing food consumption and growth, the effects of this malnutrition per se on the exocrine pancreas have not been considered. In this study, the effects of chronic reserpine treatment and malnutrition on the exocrine pancreas were determined using pair-fed controls. Male, Sprague-Dawley rats were treated daily subcutaneously for 5 to 7 days with: 1) no injection (control), 2) 1.0 ml/kg vehicle or sham (control-sham, pair fed-sham), or 3) 0.5 mg/kg reserpine (chronically reserpine-treated). Both chronic reserpine-treatment and pair-feeding significantly decreased food consumption (40%), body weight (51 and 59%), total pancreatic amylase (49 and 56%) and specific amylase activity (62 and 61%), pancreatic protein (65 and 75%), and pancreatic weights (62 and 65%) compared to controls. These decreases, however, were comparable between the chronically reserpine-treated and pair fed-sham rats. In contrast, the secretory response to the biologically active cholecystokinin analog cholecystokinin octapeptide was significantly attenuated in isolated pancreatic acini prepared from reserpine-treated rats compared to that from either control or pair-fed sham rats. Malnutrition decreased pancreatic amylase activity and protein comparably to reserpine treatment, but only partially attenuated the secretory response to cholecystokinin octapeptide. Based on the results of this study, pair-fed controls should be used to distinguish between the effects of reserpine alone and the induced malnutrition on pancreatic exocrine function in studies of this experimental model of cystic fibrosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1236-1239
Number of pages4
JournalPediatric Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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