Acute pancreatitis (AP) and sepsis are inflammatory disorder varying in magnitude of response to infection or inflammatory stimuli. The specific role of various causative factors in AP, septic shock, current pharmacological treatments, animal models, role of infiltrating cells and novel molecules that play an important role in the disease progression to sepsis are explored. AP is an inflammatory disease of the pancreas. Over the years accumulating evidence suggests numerous molecules as key regulators of the inflammatory signaling cascade such as selectins, chemokine signaling and expression of intergrins on leukocytes facilitate adhesion to vessel wall. Inhibition of any of these molecules has proven to be effective in animal models of AP. Recently, the biochemical role of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and substance P in caerulein induced AP and in cecal ligation and puncture induced sepsis and their role in the pathogenesis of the disease have highlighted the importance of novel molecules as therapeutic targets in addition to the known proinflammatory molecules, cytokines and chemoattractant chemokines and their receptors upregulated in AP and sepsis. This review aims to give an overview of the multifaceted complex interactions in a prearranged fashion and their functional role in the inflammatory process that afflict AP and sepsis. The interlinking molecules in AP and sepsis emphasize the similarities in the inflammatory response and the importance of pharmacological agents that reduce or inhibit the progression to chronic stage.
Keywords: Sepsis, inflammation, acute pancreatitis, cytokines, chemokines, hydrogen sulfide, pancreas, pharmacological agents, animal models
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