Send to

Choose Destination
Pancreas. 2009 Jan;38(1):36-48. doi: 10.1097/MPA.0b013e3181816547.

Investigation and characterization of the duct cell-enriching process during serum-free suspension and monolayer culture using the human exocrine pancreas fraction.

Author information

Department of Developmental Biology, Hagedorn Research Institute, Gentofte, Denmark.



We aimed to characterize a serum-free culture system resulting in highly enriched duct cells from human exocrine pancreas. In addition, we tested the effect of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) on endothelial cell proliferation and endocrine differentiation of the duct cells.


The exocrine pellet fraction was cultivated in suspension followed by monolayer culture. Time course analysis of multiple acinar and duct cell markers was performed using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and immunocytochemistry. The effects of VEGF and placental growth factor on the quantities of endothelial, duct, and endocrine cells and fibroblasts were investigated using computerized imaging analysis.


Suspension culture of the exocrine material efficiently enriched the cultures for duct cells. Frequent acinar cell death as well as cell selective adherence of acinar cells to the culture dish was the underlying cause of the enrichment. Confocal microscopy demonstrated the virtual absence of cells coexpressing duct cell- and acinar cell-specific markers. The endothelial immunoreactivity of the suspension culture system could be increased 2-fold by VEGF treatment, yet no effect was observed on endocrine cell numbers.


We have characterized a serum-free in vitro culture system to enrich human duct cells and further show that the contribution of acinoductal transdifferentiation to the enrichment of duct cells is negligible.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wolters Kluwer
Loading ...
Support Center