Implication of Reg I in human pancreatic duct-like cells in vivo in the pathological pancreas and in vitro during exocrine dedifferentiation

Didier Sanchez, Valery Gmyr, Julie Kerr-Conte, Gunter Kloppel, Michael E. Zenilman, Odette Guy-Crotte, François Pattou, Catherine Figarella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


A feature associated frequently with the pathologic pancreas is the presence of tubular complexes produced by a phenotypic modulation of acinar cells that take on the characteristics of ductular cells. Since the type I Reg gene, an acinar cell product, is increased in the pancreas following an acinar injury, we aimed to evaluate whether the Reg I protein might be involved in this dedifferentiation process in the human pancreas. We studied duct-like structures in fixed human pathologic pancreatic tissues and human cells with a ductal phenotype obtained by culturing human exocrine preparations. Immunocytochemistry, Western blotting, and RT-PCR were applied for detection of type I Reg. Reg I was observed not only in acinar cells but also in the duct-like cells and dilated duct cells, both positive for cytokeratin 19. However, none of the other acinar markers was observed in these cells. In vitro, human acinar cells dedifferentiated, losing their acinar phenotype, but expression of Reg I remained constant throughout the culture duration. Furthermore, Reg I was not associated with proliferation. We demonstrated that Reg I expression was linked to acinar cell dedifferentiation. We postulate that Reg I might be used as a marker to understand the events leading to phenotypic changes of acinar cells to address the physiological role of Reg I in the pancreas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-21
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Acini
  • Dedifferentiation
  • Duct-like cells
  • Human
  • Pancreas
  • Reg
  • Tubular complexes


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