Nicotinic stimulation of splenic T cells is protective in endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography-induced acute pancreatitis in mice.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

It has previously been shown that current smoking is protective against endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)-induced acute pancreatitis, but the mechanism of this effect was not identified. We tested the hypothesis that nicotine is the active factor in this protection in a mouse model of ERCP. Pretreatment with nicotine dose dependently inhibited acute pancreatitis caused by infusion of ERCP contrast solution into the main pancreatic duct in mice. 3-2,4-Dimethoxybenzylidene anabaseine (GTS-21), a specific partial agonist of the α7 nicotinic cholinergic receptor (α7nAChR), also protected the pancreas against ERCP-induced acute pancreatitis. The effects of GTS-21 were abolished by pretreatment with the nicotinic receptor antagonist mecamylamine. Surgical splenectomy performed 7 days before ERCP-induced pancreatitis blocked the protective effects of GTS-21. Intravenous injection of a crude preparation of total splenocytes prepared from mice pretreated with GTS-21 inhibited ERCP-induced pancreatitis; splenocytes from mice treated with vehicle had no effect. When T cells were removed from the crude GTS-21-treated splenocyte preparation by immunomagnetic separation, the remaining non-T-cell splenocytes did not protect against ERCP-induced acute pancreatitis. We conclude that nicotine protects against ERCP-induced acute pancreatitis and that splenic T cells are required for this effect. Stimulation of α7 nicotinic cholinergic receptors may protect against ERCP-induced acute pancreatitis and may also be a novel approach to therapeutic reversal of ongoing acute pancreatitis.NEW & NOTEWORTHY Epidemiological evidence indicated that acute smoking reduced the risk of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)-induced pancreatitis, but the mechanism has remained elusive. The current findings indicate the nicotine reduces the severity of ERCP-induced pancreatitis by stimulating a population of splenic T cells that exert a protective effect on the pancreas. These findings raise the possibility that nicotinic agonists might be useful in treating pancreatitis.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Shahid, RA; Vigna, SR; Huang, M-N; Gunn, MD; Liddle, RA

Published Date

  • November 1, 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 323 / 5

Start / End Page

  • G420 - G427

PubMed ID

  • 36126221

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC9602779

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1522-1547

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1152/ajpgi.00156.2022


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States