Serum phospholipase A (PLA) activities were determined by means of modified thin layer chromatographic method. Serum PLA values in normal subjects showed a normal distribution pattern, which was similar for men and women. In patients with acute pancreatitis, although both serum PLA and amylase activity tended to decrease in parallel with improvement of the disease, the serum PLA activity, compared with the serum amylase activity, reflected more closely the severity of the abdominal pain. Attacks of abdominal pain accompanied by marked elevation of serum PLA activity were seen occasionally in patients with chronic non-calcified pancreatitis, but elevation of the serum PLA value was only slight to moderate in the majority of patients with this disease. The serum PLA level was correlated significantly with the amylase activity in patients suffering from pancreatitis. In the patients with acute pancreatitis, the severity of abdominal pain showed a significant positive correlation with both serum PLA and serum amylase values. On the other hand, though serum PLA activity was correlated with abdominal pain in patients with chronic non-calcified pancreatitis, the serum amylase level was not significantly correlated with the attack of abdominal pain. The above results suggest' that pancreatic PLA activity can he used as an important pathophysiological index of pancreatitis.
In the early stage of the experimental liver cancer by azo-dye feeding rats, an appearance of serum alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) was recognized by Hirai and his co-workers ("the first response")., And also so called "oval cells" (Onoe et al) were detectable only in this stage. We atempted to detect the AFP-producing cells during this stage, by means of immunofluorescent technique. Fifty adult male rats were fed with 0.06% (w/w)3'-methyl-4-dimethyl aminoazobenzene for 20 weeks. Two of these rats were killed every one week, and their livers were fixed with either 95% cold ethanol or 1% glacial acetic acid in 95% cold ethanol, then, embedded into paraffin after adequate dehydration. Anti rat AFP horse serum was kindly submitted by Dr. Hirai, Hokkaido Universsty School of Medicine. AFP-producing cells were detected by the direct immunofluorescent method with FITC labelled anti rat AFP conjugate (F/P=1.5). Immunohistologically, fine granular fluorescence was observed in the cytoplasm of the so called oval cells. Moreover, similar fluorescence was revealed in the cytoplasm of several hepatocytes, unexpectedly. Fluorescence positive cells in both were scattered in making a few cell group throughout the lobules. Thus, it has been proved that AFP was produced by not only oval cells but also original hepatocytes in the stage of the first response.
In order to improve the diagnostic evaluation of pancreatic exocrine function, 75Se-activity in duodenal aspirate was measured after an intravenous injection of 75Se-selenomethionine, twenty control subjects and 111 subjects with pancertic and/or gastrointestinal disease were studied. Pancreozymin-Secretin test (PStest) was started 20min. after i.v. injection of 75Se-selenomethionine, and duodenal contents were fractionally collected up to 130min. The radioactivity in the duodenal aspirate of the control subjects remained low until 80min. It then rose rapidly and reached a plateau at 115min. In contrast, the radioactivity in the subjects with pancreatic disease remained low, or rose only slowly throughout the period of collection. The radioactivity of the protein fraction (TCA-precipitable) in the 80 to 130min. duodenal aspirate gave good separation between controls and subjects with pancreatic disease. The incidence of abnormalities of TCA-precipitable radioactivity in the 80 to 130min. duodenal aspirate was significantly higher than that of the conventional PS-test parameters in groups with various pancreatic diseases. All of the subjects having an abnormal maximal ratio of TCA-precipitable radioactivity to protein (representing pancreatic enzyme synthesis) showed an abnormal distribution in output of TCA-precipitable radioactivity in 80 to 130min. collection (representing both enzyme synthesis and excretion). On the other hand, subjects with abnormal output of TCA-precipitable radioactivity in 80 to 130min. could be separated into those with normal and abnormal ratios of TCA-precipitable radioactivity, suggesting the presence of two types of disturbance in pancreatic function. In the latter group both synthesis and secretion of enzyme are impaired. In the former group secretion of enzyme is depressed, although enzyme synthesis is fairly well preserved. From these results we consider that determination of 75Se-activity in the 80 to 130min. duodenal aspirate may provide a sensitive test for pancreatic function particularly useful in detecting pancreatic disease in the early stages. In addition these data suggest that tow pancreatic function, i.e. synthesis and excretion of enzyme can be measured separately by this method.