Differentiation of Pancreatic Ductal Epithelial Cells into Insulin Like Cell Clusters in Chronic Pancreatitis


Background/Aim: Islet regeneration in chronic pancreatitis (CP) is relevant for managing the associated loss of endocrine function. Because ductal epithelial cells were earlier demonstrated to differentiate into pancreatic endocrine mass, we evaluated their proliferation and differentiation in chronic pancreatitis. Methods: Pancreatic ducts were obtained from surgically resected pancreata of 12 patients with chronic pancreatitis and 15 control subjects. CK19 positive ductal cells were evaluated for their proliferating and differentiating abilities upon immunostaining with Ki 67 and hormone positivity for insulin and glucagon, apart from monitoring Pdx 1 expression. Results: In comparison to the controls, a greater number of proliferating pancreatic ductal epithelial cells (PDECs) were observed under conditions of CP. The increase in Pdx1 expressing PDECs (22%) and proliferating Pdx1 expressing PDECs (30%) was significant (P < 0.04). Number of cells expressing insulin/glucagon in the exocrine ducts increased significantly in CP as compared to controls (P < 0.02) and β cell mass adjacent to the ducts increased by 28%. Conclusion: Enhanced capability of PDECs to proliferate and differentiate into endocrine mass suggests that PDECs form a source of progenitors for cell based therapy in chronic pancreatitis.

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Kumar, P. , Radhika, G. , Rao, G. , Reddy, D. and Sasikala, M. (2015) Differentiation of Pancreatic Ductal Epithelial Cells into Insulin Like Cell Clusters in Chronic Pancreatitis. Open Journal of Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases, 5, 177-183. doi: 10.4236/ojemd.2015.512022.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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