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A framework for the aetiogenesis of chronic pancreatitis

J M Braganza
Digestion 1998, 59 Suppl 4: 1-12
The traditional ductal model for the development of chronic pancreatitis leaves many questions unanswered and it has not facilitated management. An alternate philosophy centres on the acinar cell as the site of mounting oxidant stress, usually as a result of steady exposure to xenobiotics that induce cytochrome P450 mono-oxygenases while depleting glutathione: ductal changes are regarded as secondary, disease-compounding manifestations of the oxidant environment. Within this framework each burst of oxidant stress jeopardises exocytosis, to trigger an attack of pancreatitis by interfering with the methionine-to-glutathione transsulphuration pathway, which interacts closely with ascorbate and selenium. The resulting diversion of free radical oxidation products into the pancreatic interstitium causes mast cells to degranulate, thereby provoking inflammation, the activation of nociceptive axon reflexes, and profibrotic interactions.

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