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Cell Res. 2010 Mar;20(3):288-98. doi: 10.1038/cr.2010.10. Epub 2010 Jan 26.

Bone marrow-derived pancreatic stellate cells in rats.

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Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Rostock, 18057 Rostock, Germany.


Origin and fate of pancreatic stellate cells (PSCs) before, during and after pancreatic injury are a matter of debate. The crucial role of PSCs in the pathogenesis of pancreatic fibrosis is generally accepted. However, the turnover of the cells remains obscure. The present study addressed the issue of a potential bone marrow (BM) origin of PSCs. We used a model of stable hematopoietic chimerism by grafting enhanced green fluorescence protein (eGFP)-expressing BM cells after irradiation of acceptor rats. Chimerism was detected by FACS analysis of eGFP-positive cells in the peripheral blood. Dibutyltin dichloride (DBTC) was used to induce acute pancreatic inflammation with subsequent recovery over 4 weeks. Investigations have been focused on isolated cells to detect the resting PSC population. The incidence of eGFP-positive PSC obtained from the pancreas of chimeric rats was approximately 7% in healthy pancreatic tissue and increased significantly to a mean of 18% in the restored pancreas 4 weeks after DBTC-induced acute inflammation. Our results suggest that BM-derived progenitor cells represent a source of renewable stellate cells in the pancreas. Increased numbers of resting PSCs after regeneration point toward enhanced recruitment of BM-derived cells to the pancreas and/or re-acquisition of a quiescent state after inflammation-induced activation.

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