1990 Volume 87 Issue 11 Pages 2503-2508
To explore the changes in the exocrine pancreas and the possible stimulation by gut hormones of secretion of lysosomal enzyme into the pancreatic juice, we measured the caerulein-stimulated amylase output, the cathepsin B output into the pancreatic juice and the pancreatic tissue amylase and cathepsin B contents, as well as the distribution of cathepsin B in acinar cells in both the regenerating (4 days) and recovery (8 days) stages after about 70% hepatectomy in rats. The amylase output increased significantly after hepatectomy. Cathepsin B was secreted into the pancreatic juice after stimulation by caerulein in both the control and hepatectomized groups. Four days after hepatectomy, the cathepsin B output was significantly greater than that of the control group, and redistribution of cathepsin B in acinar cells was noted. These changes in cathepsin B disappeared in the recovery stage (8 days) after hepatectomy. In addition, the pancreatic amylase content was significantly higher than in the control group, but the pancreatic cathepsin B content did not change significantly. These results suggest that caerulein stimulated the secretion of lysosomal enzyme into the pancreatic juice in the same way as digestive enzymes and that lysosomal enzymes in the pancreatic juice play an important physiological role. Furthermore, these results indicate the increased synthesis and secretion of amylase in and from acinar cells as well as the fragility of acinar cells.