Expression of endothelin-1 in pancreatic tissue of patients with chronic pancreatitis

Yoichiro Kakugawa, Adel Giaid, Masashi Yanagisawa, Amy Greenstein Baynash, Peter Melnyk, Lawrence Rosenberg, William P. Duguid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Chronic pancreatitis is characterized by the presence of an inflammatory infiltrate, progressive destruction of acinar cells, and fibrosis. The finding that endothelin-1, an endothelium-derived peptide with vasoconstrictive and mitogenic properties, reduces pancreatic blood flow in normal rats suggested that the peptide may be associated with the reduced pancreatic flow seen in animal models of chronic pancreatitis and in the morphological abnormalities of the disease. The aim of this study was to investigate sites of endothelin-1 expression in the pancreas of normal subjects and patients with chronic pancreatitis. The techniques of immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization, and Northern blotting were used. Endothelin-1-like immunoreactivity was localized predominantly to islet cells both in normal subjects and in patients with chronic pancreatitis. Semi-quantitative analyses of immunostaining showed that endothelin-1-like immunoreactivity in islet cells of patients with chronic pancreatitis was greater than in normal subjects. Co-localization studies with glucagon, insulin, somatostatin, and pancreatic polypeptide showed that endothelin-1-like immunoreactivity co-exists with glucagon and insulin. There was no apparent co-existence of endothelin-1-like immunoreactivity with somatostatin or pancreatic polypeptide. Endothelin-1 mRNA was expressed in sites similar to those of the immunostaining, as well as in vascular endothelial cells. Northern blot analysis showed an increase in the expression of endothelin-1 mRNA in the patient population. There was a significant correlation between intensity of endothelin-1 immunostaining and severity of fibrosis in the patients with chronic pancreatitis. These findings suggest that an elevation in local expression of endothelin-1 may be associated with the morphological and haemodynamic changes of chronic pancreatitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)78-83
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1996


  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Endothelin
  • Human
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • mRNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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