Severe acute pancreatitis (SAP) associated acute lung injury (ALI) accounts for about 70% mortality of SAP patients. However, there are no precise biomarkers for the disease currently. Herein, we evaluated the potential of gamma-enolase (ENO2), against its universal isoform alpha-enolase (ENO1), as a marker of SAP–ALI in a rat model. Firstly, 16 male Sprague–Dawley rats were randomly divided into two groups, Sham (n = 8) and SAP–ALI (n = 8), for pancreatitis induction. Ultra-structure examination by electron microscopy and HE staining were used for lung injury assessment. Lung tissue expressions of alpha-enolase and gamma-enolase were evaluated by qRT-PCR and immunohistochemistry. In a prospective validation experiment, 28 rats were used: sham (n = 8), SAP–ALI at 3 h (3 h, n = 10), and SAP–ALI at 24 h (24 h, n = 10). Lung tissue damage, tissue expression and circulating alpha-enolase and gamma-enolase levels were evaluated. Elevated serum levels of α-amylase and TNF-α were observed in SAP rats but not in sham-operated rats. Histological examination of pancreatic and lung tissues indicated marked damage in SAP rats. While alpha-enolase was universally expressed, gamma-enolase was expressed only in damaged lung tissues. Gamma-enolase was detected in lung tissues, BALF, and serum as early as 3 h post-surgery when physical pathological damage was not apparent. Unlike alpha-enolase, secreted and/or circulating gamma-enolase level progressively increased, especially in serum, as lung damage progressed. Thus, gamma-enolase may signal and correlate lung tissue damage well before obvious physical pathological tissue damage and might be a candidate diagnostic and/or prognostic marker.
Severe acute pancreatitis-induced acute lung injury Alpha-enolase Gamma-enolase Sprague–Dawley rats
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Support for this study was by a grant from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81573751) to HC. However, the funding body had no influence on the study design, data interpretation, or manuscript preparation.
LO and HC conceived and designed the experiment; CX, GL, JZ, ZT, ZS and LO carried out the animal model and sample collections; LO, CX, ZT, JZ and ZS carried out validation experiments; HC secured funding for the study, and with LO drafted the manuscript; All authors critically reviewed and approved the final manuscript.
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interest concerning this publication.
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