Irreversible and sustained upregulation of endothelin axis during oncogene-associated pancreatic inflammation and cancer

Suprit Gupta, Avi Prajapati, Mansi Gulati, Shailendra K. Gautam, Sushil Kumar, Vipin Dalal, Geoffrey A. Talmon, Satyanarayana Rachagani, Maneesh Jain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Endothelin-1 (ET-1) and its two receptors, endothelin receptor A (ETAR) and endothelin receptor B (ETBR) exhibit deregulated overexprerssion in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) and pancreatitis. We examined the expression pattern of endothelin (ET) axis components in the murine models of chronic and acute inflammation in the presence or absence of oncogenic K-ras. While the expression of endothelin converting enzyme-1 (ECE-1), ET-1, ETAR and ETBR in the normal pancreas is restricted predominantly to the islet cells, progressive increase of ET receptors in ductal cells and stromal compartment is observed in the KC model (Pdx-1 Cre; K-rasG12D) of PDAC. In the murine pancreas harboring K-rasG12D mutation (KC mice), following acute inflammation induced by cerulein, increased ETAR and ETBR expression is observed in the amylase and CK19 double positive cells that represent cells undergoing pancreatic acinar to ductal metaplasia (ADM). As compared to the wild type (WT) mice, cerulein treatment in KC mice resulted in significantly higher levels of ECE-1, ET-1, ETAR and ETBR, transcripts in the pancreas. Similarly, in response to cigarette smoke-induced chronic inflammation, the expression of ET axis components is significantly upregulated in the pancreas of KC mice as compared to the WT mice. In addition to the expression in the precursor pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasm (PanIN lesions) in cigarette smoke-exposure model and metaplastic ducts in cerulein-treatment model, ETAR and ETBR expression is also observed in infiltrating F4/80 positive macrophages and α-SMA positive fibroblasts and high co-localization was seen in the presence of oncogenic K-ras. In conclusion, both chronic and acute pancreatic inflammation in the presence of oncogenic K-ras contribute to sustained upregulation of ET axis components in the ductal and stromal cells suggesting a potential role of ET axis in the initiation and progression of PDAC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)98-110
Number of pages13
JournalNeoplasia (United States)
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2020


  • Acinar-ductal metaplasia
  • Endothelin
  • Oncogenic K-ras
  • PanIN lesions
  • Pancreatic injury
  • Pancreatitis
  • Precancerous lesions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research


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