Animal Model of Alcoholic Pancreatitis: Role of Viral Infections

Thomas R. Jerrells, Nora Chapman, Dahn L. Clemens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Pancreatitis is clearly associated with alcohol abuse, but only a relatively small percentage of people who abuse alcohol develops obvious pancreatitis. These observations have led to the concept that the development of alcoholic pancreatitis requires cofactors. Although diet and smoking have been studied, a clear cofactor has not been identified. The study results presented in this paper were obtained to determine whether viral infection of the pancreas would be a cofactor for alcoholic pancreatitis similar to the role of hepatitis virus infections in the development of alcoholic liver disease. To test this hypothesis, mice were fed ethanol with a liquid diet protocol and infected with coxsackievirus B3 (CVB3). It was found that consumption of alcohol alone did not result in pancreatitis as determined by serum levels of amylase or histologic changes in the pancreas. Two strains of CVB3 that are tropic for the pancreas were used; a virulent and an avirulent strain. Infection of alcohol-fed animals with the virulent CVB3 strain 28 resulted in a more severe pancreatitis than the pancreatitis noted in control animals. Alcohol-fed mice infected with the avirulent strain (GA) showed severe pancreatitis, whereas the infection of control mice did not result in obvious pathologic effects in the pancreas. This model allows mechanistic studies to define the role of viral infection as a cofactor for alcoholic pancreatitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)301-304
Number of pages4
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2003


  • Alcohol
  • Alcoholic pancreatitis
  • Avirulent virus
  • Inflammatory cells
  • Viral pancreatitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Hepatology
  • Endocrinology


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