Ethanol consumption potentiates viral pancreatitis and may inhibit pancreas regeneration: Preliminary findings

Dahn L. Clemens, Thomas R. Jerrells

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Alcohol abuse is often associated with acute pancreatitis. The pathogenesis of alcoholic pancreatitis remains poorly understood, in part because of the lack of a suitable animal model to study the mechanism or mechanisms of this disease. It has been proposed that ethanol predisposes or sensitizes the pancreas to the effects of co-factors, and the combination of the effects of ethanol on the pancreas and the actions of these co-factors results in alcoholic pancreatitis. A number of viruses are known to infect the pancreas, and we have suggested that one co-factor that could be involved in the development of alcoholic pancreatitis is a viral infection. One of the most-studied groups of viruses that infect the pancreas and cause pancreatitis in human beings is the coxsackieviruses. We have shown that short-term (5-14 days) and subchronic (>28 days) administration of ethanol to mice increases the severity of coxsackie B3-induced pancreas damage. We hypothesize that consumption of ethanol would result in an impairment of pancreas regeneration after injury, similar to the effect of ethanol on liver regeneration. With the use of the murine model of coxsackie BS-mediated alcoholic pancreatitis we have obtained preliminary data to support the hypothesis. Specifically, consumption of ethanol by mice is associated with changes in the replication of acinar cells and their organization into acini after viral-mediated injury. We believe that this model will be a valuable tool to study the biochemical and molecular mechanisms involved in alcoholic pancreatitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-189
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2004


  • Alcoholic pancreatitis
  • Coxsackievirus B3
  • Pancreas regeneration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Biochemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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