Characterization of Mouse Models of Early Pancreatic Lesions Induced by Alcohol and Chronic Pancreatitis.
PublisherLippincott, Williams & Wilkins
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OBJECTIVE: We describe the first mouse model of pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PanIN) lesions induced by alcohol in the presence and absence of chronic pancreatitis. METHODS: Pdx1-Cre;LSL-K-ras mice were exposed to Lieber-DeCarli alcohol diet for 6 weeks with cerulein injections. The PanIN lesions and markers of fibrosis, inflammation, histone deacetylation, epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), and cancer stemness were measured by immunohistochemistry and Western. RESULTS: Exposure of Pdx1-Cre;LSL-K-ras mice to an alcohol diet significantly stimulated fibrosis and slightly but not significantly increased the level of PanIN lesions associated with an increase in tumor-promoting M2 macrophages. Importantly, the alcohol diet did not increase activation of stellate cells. Alcohol diet and cerulein injections resulted in synergistic and additive effects on PanIN lesion and M2 macrophage phenotype induction, respectively. Cerulein pancreatitis caused stellate cell activation, EMT, and cancer stemness in the pancreas. Pancreatitis caused histone deacetylation, which was promoted by the alcohol diet. Pancreatitis increased EMT and cancer stemness markers, which were not further affected by the alcohol diet. CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that alcohol has independent effects on promotion of PDAC associated with fibrosis formed through a stellate cell-independent mechanism and that it further promotes early PDAC and M2 macrophage induction in the context of chronic pancreatitis.