Structural and Functional Effects of Long-Term Alcohol Administration on the Dog Exocrine Pancreas Submitted to Two Different Diets

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Abstract

Summary

Our purpose was to study the influence of two different levels of dietary protein and fat on the action of chronic alcohol feeding on the exocrine pancreatic secretion and the pancreatic morphology of conscious dogs. Ten animals were provided with gastric and duodenal cannulas. Five of them (group H) received a high-protein (39% of calories), high-fat (34%) diet, and the five others (group L) a moderately low-protein (15%), low-fat (20%) diet. Animals were housed in closed kennels lightened with artificial light and did not have free access to sunlight. Five series of experiments were performed just before and 5 and 12 months after daily alcohol administration through the gastric cannula (2 g/kg/day). Volume, bicarbonate, and protein were measured under basal conditions after intragastric ethanol infusion (1.5 g/kg), under hormonal stimulation with 1 clinical unit (CU)/kg/h secretin or 1 CU/kg/h secretin plus 3 Crick Harper Rate (CHR) U/kg/h cholecystokinin (CCK), before and after intravenous ethanol 1.3 g/kg for 20 min, and after intragastric ethanol (1 g/kg) given with a meal. Group H was the most sensitive to the action of chronic alcohol feeding. At the end of 1 year of alcohol administration, volume and bicarbonate were not affected, but protein secretion was significantly increased in basal conditions and under secretin infusion, but not under CCK infusion or in response to a meal. The secretory pattern of these dogs was different from the response of dogs studied in previous experiments having the same diet but housed in an open kennel and having free access to outside and sunlight. In group L, protein was less affected, but volume and bicarbonate were significantly decreased 1 year under secretin stimulation. Histological damages were seen in the two groups characterized by a slight periacinar fibrosis and alterations of ductal cells. Acinar and ductal luminae were dilated and filled with protein plugs also present in pancreatic juice and able to stop the flow of juice. At the difference from human beings, these plugs were built up of all secretory protein but not of an insoluble fibrillar molecular form of pancreatic stone protein. This study confirms the role of chronic alcoholism on the formation of protein plugs and shows the influence of nutritional and environmental conditions.

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