• ethyl pyruvate;
  • high mobility group box 1;
  • lung injury;
  • severe acute pancreatitis


In this study, we examined the effect of ethyl pyruvate (EP) on pulmonary inflammation in rats with severe pancreatitis-associated acute lung injury (ALI). Severe acute pancreatitis (SAP) was induced in rats by the retrograde injection of 5% sodium taurocholate into the pancreatic duct. Rats were randomly divided into the following experimental groups: control group, SAP group and EP-treated group. The tissue specimens were harvested for morphological studies, Streptavidin–peroxidase immunohistochemistry examination. Pancreatic or lung tissue oedema was evaluated by tissue water content. Serum amylase and lung tissue malondialdehyde (MDA) and myeloperoxidase (MPO) were measured. Meanwhile, the nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) activation, tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-1β (IL-1β) levels and HMGB1 protein expression levels in the lung were studied. In the present study, we demonstrated that treatment with EP after SAP was associated with a reduction in the severity of SAP and lung injury. Treatment with EP significantly decreased the expression of TNF-α, IL-1β, HMGB1 and ameliorated MDA concentration, MPO activity in the lung in SAP rats. Compared to SAP group, administration of EP prevented pancreatitis-induced increases in nuclear translocation of NF-κB in the lung. Similarly, treatment with EP significantly decreased the accumulation of neutrophils and markedly reduced the enhanced lung permeability. In conclusion, these results demonstrate that EP might play a therapeutic role in pulmonary inflammation in this SAP model.