Turkish Journal of Gastroenterology
Pancreatobiliary - Original Article

β-Hydroxybutyrate, One of the Three Main Ketone Bodies, Ameliorates Acute Pancreatitis in Rats by Suppressing the NLRP3 Inflammasome Pathway


Department of Histology and Embryology, Eskisehir Osmangazi University School of Medicine, Eskişehir, Turkey

Turk J Gastroenterol 2021; 32: 702-711
DOI: 10.5152/tjg.2021.191062
Read: 144 Downloads: 29 Published: 08 September 2021

Background: Acute pancreatitis (AP) is a widespread disease resulting from the inflammation of acinar cells in the pancreas. β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) is a water-soluble main ketone body synthesized in the human liver. The purpose of this study was to examine the possible therapeutic effects of BHB in the experimentally-induced AP model in rats.

Methods: In our study, male rats were randomly allotted into 6 groups, as control (0.9% saline i.p.), BHB1 (200 mg/kg BHB i.p.), BHB2 (2 doses of 200 mg/kg BHB i.p.), AP (4 doses of 50 μg/kg cerulein i.p., 4 doses at 1 h intervals), AP+BHB1 and AP+BHB2 groups. In pancreatic tissue sections, immunohistochemistry staining and western blot analysis for the inflammasome complex (caspase-1, ASC, and NLRP3) and inflammation-associated proteins (TNF-α and NF-κB) and a histopathological examination were performed. The levels of lipase, amylase, interleukin (IL)-18 and IL-1β in serum were measured.

Results: Several pathological degenerations, including edema, inflammatory cell infiltration, acinus necrosis, and bleeding were observed in the AP group, while the histological architecture of the control and the sham BHB1 and BHB2 groups were regular. The AP-induced pathological changes were considerably alleviated in the AP+BHB1 and AP+BHB2 groups. In the AP group, a conspicuous increase in caspase-1, ASC, NLRP3, TNF-α, and NF-κB proteins, and in the levels of amylase, lipase, IL-18, and IL-1β were detected. BHB treatments after AP induction decreased those proteins to the level of control.

Conclusions: We demonstrated that BHB has the potential to cure AP by suppressing the NLRP3 inflammasome and can be used in the treatment of many diseases which progress through the NLRP3 inflammasome.

Cite this article as: Şahin E, Bektur Aykanat NE, Kaçar S, Bağcı R, Şahintürk V. β-hydroxybutyrate, one of the three main ketone bodies, ameliorates acute pancreatitis in rats by suppressing the NLRP3 inflammasome pathway. Turk J Gastroenterol. 2021; 32(8): 702-711.

EISSN 2148-5607