• Nitric oxide;
  • Ischemia/reperfusion;
  • Pancreas;
  • Intravital microscopy;
  • Microcirculation

Abstract Recently, protective effects of nitric oxide donors in pancreatic ischemia/reperfusion (IRI) injury have been described. Their role in post-ischemic microcirculation was previously not investigated. Ischemia reperfusion was induced in an isolated pancreatic tail segment in situ. Animals were randomized to four experimental groups (n= 7 animals/group), the control group (CO) received saline as placebo. Treatment groups received either sodium nitroprusside (SN) 5 min before until 2 h after reperfusion, l-arginine (LA) 30 min before reperfusion until 2 h after reperfusion or sodium nitroprusside and l-arginine (SNLA) together. After induction of ischemia (2 h) post-ischemic microcirculation was observed for 2 h by intravital-fluorescence microscopy. Functional-capillary density (FCD), leukocyte adherence in post-capillary venules (LAV) and histological damage were analysed. After reperfusion FCD decreased in all groups (p<0.05). FCD was significantly restored in all groups with administration of nitric oxide donors after reperfusion (p<0.05) as compared to CO without significant difference between the individual nitric oxide donor groups. Leukocyte adherence was significantly increased 1 h and 2 h after reperfusion (p<0.001) as compared to baseline, which was lower in all nitric oxide donor groups. Histological damage in the pancreatic tail-segment was significantly reduced in nitric oxide donor groups (p<0.01). Administration of nitric oxide donors might be useful in ischemia-reperfusion injury of the pancreas by its protective effect on microcirculation and inflammatory reaction.