The ultrastructure of the liver was studied in 3 groups of dogs (5 in each) with acute experimental pancreatitis (AEP) induced by injection of bile-trypsin mixture into the pancreatic duct. Experiments were terminated after 12 h. In the group of untreated animals, severe degeneration of mitochondria, extensive autophagocytosis, hyperactivity of Kupffer cells, depletion of glycogen granules, dilatation of endoplasmic spaces and vacuolisation of cytoplasm were found. In the group treated with prostacyclin PGI2(20 ng/kg/min) in continuous i.v. infusion for 12 h, ultrastructural alterations were less advanced. Even better results were obtained in the group additionally pretreated for 1 h with the same rate of prostacyclin infusion. The results indicate a protective effect of prostacyclin against damage to the liver in the course of AEP. © 1987, VEB Gustav Fischer Verlag Jena. All rights reserved.
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