Platelet-derived growth factors (PDGF) are mitogenic polypeptides that are involved in cellular proliferation and tissue repair. The expression of PDGFs and type β PDGF receptor was examined in the normal human pancreas and in chronic pancreatitis, a fibrotic disease associated with fibroblastic proliferation, atrophy, and acinar cell dedifferentiation. In the normal human pancreas, PDGF A chain mRNA levels were relatively abundant, whereas PDGF B chain mRNA levels were not detected, and type β PDGF receptor mRNA transcripts were present at low levels. In the normal pancreas, PDGF immunoreactivity was present in islet cells, whereas type β PDGF receptor immunoreactivity was present in acinar cells. In chronic pancreatitis, PDGF A chain mRNA transcripts were also abundant, and 11 of 19 samples exhibited the PDGF B chain mRNA transcript. In addition, there was a significant increase in the mRNA levels of type β PDGF receptor in the pancreatitis samples by comparison with the normal pancreas (P < 0.001). In chronic pancreatitis tissues, PDGF and type β PDGF receptor immunoreactivity were present in acinar, ductal, islet, and endothelial cells, fibroblasts, and leukocytes. The concomitant overexpression of PDGFs and of the type β PDGF receptor points to the existence of autocrine and paracrine PDGF-dependent loops in human chronic pancreatitis.
- Chronic pancreatitis
- Platelet-derived growth factor
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