The Effect of Endogenous Cholecystokinin Released by Bombesin and Trypsin Inhibitor on the Regeneration of the Pancreas

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This study examined the effects of endogenous cholecystokinin (CCK) released by bombesin and FOY-305 (a synthetic inhibitor of trypsin on pancreatic regeneration in rats).

Summary Background Data

Trophic gut hormones (CCK and bombesin) stimulate the growth of the normal rat pancreas. However, the influence of endogenous gut hormones on pancreatic regeneration is unclear.


Male Fisher rats (n = 6 to 8 per group) were fed a protein-free diet and given ethionine (700 mg/kg intraperitoneally daily) for 8 to 9 days to induce degeneration of the pancreas. Regeneration was stimulated by giving the rats a regular chow diet. The effects of bombesin (10 μg/kg three times a day for 7 days) or FOY-305 (200 mg/kg daily for 8 days) on the process of regeneration were examined.


At the end of the degeneration phase, there was near-total destruction of pancreatic acinar cells. Both bombesin and FOY-305 stimulated pancreatic regeneration. Growth measurements (weight and total content of DNA and protein) were significantly increased (p < 0.05) in the bombesin-and FOY-305-treated rats compared with controls. Histologic examination revealed widespread repopulation of the pancreas with acinar cells in the bombesin- and FOY-305-treated groups. The stimulating effects of both bombesin and FOY-305 on pancreatic regeneration were blocked completely by the CCK-receptor antagonist L-364,718. Growth measurements were not significantly increased in the groups of control rats or rats given L-364,718 alone.


These results show that bombesin and FOY-305 significantly stimulated pancreatic regeneration. Because the stimulating effects of bombesin and FOY-305 on regeneration were blocked by the specific CCK-receptor antagonist L-364,718, it was concluded that this effect was mediated by endogenous CCK.

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