Chronic pancreatitis is characterized by progressive fibrosis, pain and loss of exocrine and endocrine functions. The long-standing chronic pancreatitis and its associated pancreatic fibrosis are the most common pathogenic events involved in human pancreatic carcinogenesis, but the therapeutic strategies to chronic pancreatitis and the chemoprevention of pancreatic carcinogenesis are very limited.
We investigated the effect of sulindac, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), on inhibition of chronic pancreatitis in a caerulein induced chronic pancreatitis mouse model.
Sulindac significantly reduced the severity of chronic pancreatitis including the extent of acini loss, inflammatory cell infiltration and stromal fibrosis. The protein expression of phosphorylation of MEK/ERK was inhibited in the chronic pancreatic tissues by sulindac treatment as measured by Western blot assay. The levels of inflammatory cytokines including TNF-α and MCP-1 were also significantly decreased with sulindac treatment, as well as the expression of TGF-β, PDGF-β, SHH and Gli in the chronic pancreatic tissue detected by qPCR assay and confirmed by western blot assay. The activation of pancreatic satellet cells was also inhibited by sulindac as measured by the activity of α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) in the pancreatic tissue of chronic pancreatitis.
Sulindac is a promising reagent for the treatment of chronic pancreatitis via inhibition of inflammatory cell infiltration and stromal fibrosis, the inhibitory effect of sulindac on chronic pancreatitis may through targeting the activation ERK/MAPK signaling pathway.