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Dig Dis Sci. 2000 Jan;45(1):151-9.

Expression of transforming growth factor-beta in spontaneous chronic pancreatitis in the WBN/Kob rat.

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Department of Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology, Cancer Research Institute, Kanazawa University, Japan.


Transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-beta1) is suggested to be a mediator of fibrosis in chronic pancreatitis, but the serial change of TGF-beta1 expression in the onset and progression of chronic pancreatitis is still unclear. We investigated the TGF-beta1 expression in the spontaneous chronic pancreatitis model. Four-week-old male WBN/Kob rats were fed with special pellet diet (MB-3) for 20 weeks. TGF-beta1 mRNA in the pancreas was detected by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction assay from four weeks, and its expression peaked at 12 weeks when the pancreatic fibrosis first appeared. The localizations of TGF-beta1 mRNA and protein were confirmed in the cytoplasm of pancreatic acinar and ductal cells by in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry, respectively. Although fibronectin expression peaked at 12 weeks and correlated with that of TGF-beta1, its elevated expression tended to be prolonged. Pancreatic fibrosis peaked at 16 weeks after the peak of TGF-beta1 expression. These results suggest that TGF-beta1 expression may be a trigger of the fibrotic process of chronic pancreatitis in the WBN/Kob rat.

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