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ErbB2 oncogene expression supports the acute pancreatitis-chronic pancreatitis sequence

ErbB2 oncogene expression supports the acute pancreatitis-chronic pancreatitis sequence

Virchows Archiv 441(4): 385-391

The pathogenesis of chronic pancreatitis remains controversial. According to the general opinion, chronic pancreatitis is a de novo disease with a silent but progressive restructure of the pancreas in response to environmental, nutritional or genetic factors. The necrosis-fibrosis sequence hypothesis, on the other hand, postulates that relapsing attacks of acute pancreatitis with subsequent development of fibrosis leads to chronic pancreatitis. Since in our previous studies the expression of two anti-ErbB2 growth factor receptor (ErbB2) antibodies was shown to discriminate between primary chronic pancreatitis, normal tissue, and secondary chronic pancreatitis caused by pancreatic cancer, we studied the ErbB2 expression in tissues obtained from acute, recurrent acute, and chronic pancreatitis to investigate a possible evolution of the ErbB2 expression pattern during the course of the disease. We subjected 14 normal pancreas, 15 chronic pancreatitis, and 12 acute pancreatitis (three with recurrent acute pancreatitis) specimens to immunohistochemical studies using polyclonal anti-ErbB2 antibodies from Santa Cruz and Dako. The immunoreactivity of islet cells in acute pancreatitis cases with the Santa Cruz antibody was less than that in normal pancreas in relation to the degree of tissue damage and fibrosis, and was negative in recurrent acute and chronic pancreatitis tissues. The Dako antibody, on the other hand, revealed a membrane staining of ductal and ductular cells only in chronic pancreatitis specimens and in some areas of recurrent acute pancreatitis. In conclusion, the similarities in the immunoreactivity of anti-ErbB2 antibodies in recurrent acute pancreatitis and chronic pancreatitis support the hypothesis that acute pancreatitis can be a forerunner of chronic pancreatitis.

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Accession: 010601058

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PMID: 12404064

DOI: 10.1007/s00428-002-0696-8

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