Basic Study
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2018. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. Dec 7, 2018; 24(45): 5131-5143
Published online Dec 7, 2018. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v24.i45.5131
Abdominal paracentesis drainage ameliorates severe acute pancreatitis in rats by regulating the polarization of peritoneal macrophages
Ruo-Hong Liu, Yi Wen, Hong-Yu Sun, Chun-Yu Liu, Yu-Fan Zhang, Yi Yang, Qi-Lin Huang, Jia-Jia Tang, Can-Chen Huang, Li-Jun Tang
Ruo-Hong Liu, Yi Wen, Hong-Yu Sun, Chun-Yu Liu, Yi Yang, Qi-Lin Huang, Can-Chen Huang, Li-Jun Tang, PLA Center of General Surgery and Pancreatic Injury and Repair Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province, Chengdu Military General Hospital, Chengdu 610083, Sichuan Province, China
Ruo-Hong Liu, Yi Wen, Li-Jun Tang, Third Military Medical University (Army Medical University), Chongqing 400037, China
Yu-Fan Zhang, Jiaotong Hospital Affiliated with the Sichuan Provincial People’s Hospital, Chengdu 611730, Sichuan Province, China
Jia-Jia Tang, Department of Ultrasound, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Beijing 100032, China
Author contributions: Liu RH, Wen Y and Sun HY contributed equally to this work; Liu RH and Wen Y performed the majority of the experiments; Liu CY and Huang CC contributed to the animal experiments; Yang Y and Huang QL helped with the in vitro experiments; Zhang YF and Tang JJ contributed to data collection and manuscript preparation; Liu RH and Sun HY drafted the manuscript; and Tang LJ revised and approved the manuscript.
Supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 81772001, No. 8177071311 and No. 81502696; the National Clinical Key Subject of China, No. 41792113; the Technology Plan Program of Sichuan Province, No. 2015SZ0229, No. 2018JY0041 and No. 18YYJC0442; and the Science and Technology Development Plan of Sichuan Province, No. 2016YJ0023.
Correspondence author to: Li-Jun Tang, MD, PhD, Chief Doctor, PLA Center for General Surgery and Pancreatic Injury and the Repair Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province, Chengdu Military General Hospital, No. 270, Tianhui Road, Rongdu Avenue, Jinniu, Chengdu 610083, Sichuan Province, China.
Telephone: +86-28-86570265
Received: September 27, 2018
Peer-review started: September 27, 2018
First decision: October 14, 2018
Revised: October 20, 2018
Accepted: November 9, 2018
Article in press: November 9, 2018
Published online: December 7, 2018

To investigate the role of peritoneal macrophage (PM) polarization in the therapeutic effect of abdominal paracentesis drainage (APD) on severe acute pancreatitis (SAP).


SAP was induced by 5% Na-taurocholate retrograde injection in Sprague-Dawley rats. APD was performed by inserting a drainage tube with a vacuum ball into the lower right abdomen of the rats immediately after the induction of SAP. To verify the effect of APD on macrophages, PMs were isolated and cultured in an environment, with the peritoneal inflammatory environment simulated by the addition of peritoneal lavage in complete RPMI 1640 medium. Hematoxylin and eosin staining was performed. The levels of pancreatitis biomarkers amylase and lipase as well as the levels of inflammatory mediators in the blood and peritoneal lavage were determined. The polarization phenotypes of the PMs were identified by detecting the marker expression of M1/M2 macrophages via flow cytometry, qPCR and immunohistochemical staining. The protein expression in macrophages that had infiltrated the pancreas was determined by Western blot.


APD treatment significantly reduced the histopathological scores and levels of amylase, lipase, tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin (IL)-1β, indicating that APD ameliorates the severity of SAP. Importantly, we found that APD treatment polarized PMs towards the M2 phenotype, as evidenced by the reduced number of M1 macrophages and the reduced levels of pro-inflammatory mediators, such as IL-1β and L-selectin, as well as the increased number of M2 macrophages and increased levels of anti-inflammatory mediators, such as IL-4 and IL-10. Furthermore, in an in vitro study wherein peritoneal lavage from the APD group was added to the cultured PMs to simulate the peritoneal inflammatory environment, PMs also exhibited a dominant M2 phenotype, resulting in a significantly lower level of inflammation. Finally, APD treatment increased the proportion of M2 macrophages and upregulated the expression of the anti-inflammatory protein Arg-1 in the pancreas of SAP model rats.


These findings suggest that APD treatment exerts anti-inflammatory effects by regulating the M2 polarization of PMs, providing novel insights into the mechanism underlying its therapeutic effect.

Keywords: Abdominal paracentesis drainage, Peritoneal macrophages, Polarization, Severe acute pancreatitis

Core tip: In the present study, we provided evidence for the first time that abdominal paracentesis drainage (APD) ameliorates inflammation in rats with severe acute pancreatitis (SAP) by regulating peritoneal macrophage M2 polarization. The important findings are that: (1) by removing pancreatitis-associated ascitic fluids, APD could improve the inflammatory environment of the peritoneal cavity; (2) the improved environment in the peritoneal cavity could polarize peritoneal macrophages towards the M2 phenotype; and (3) APD could promote M2 polarization of macrophages in the pancreas of SAP model rats. These findings provide new insights into the mechanisms underlying the effectiveness of APD, which may advance the clinical use of APD to benefit patients with SAP.