Journal Article

Ductal origin of pancreatic adenocarcinomas induced by conditional activation of a human Ha-<i>ras</i> oncogene in rat pancreas

Shinobu Ueda, Katsumi Fukamachi, Yoichiro Matsuoka, Nobuo Takasuka, Fumitaka Takeshita, Akihiro Naito, Masaaki Iigo, David B. Alexander, Malcolm A. Moore, Izumu Saito, Takahiro Ochiya and Hiroyuki Tsuda

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 27, issue 12, pages 2497-2510
ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online June 2006 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI:
Ductal origin of pancreatic adenocarcinomas induced by conditional activation of a human Ha-ras oncogene in rat pancreas

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  • Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics


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Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma is one of the most debilitating malignancies in humans. Currently, radiation and chemotherapy are ineffective, with median survival times after treatment of <12 months. Animal models that reflect the human condition and can be used to explore screening and therapeutic approaches are clearly desirable. One feature of human pancreatic adenocarcinoma is an exceedingly high frequency of K-ras mutation. The present study was conducted to determine if targeted activation of a human oncogenic-ras transgene in rat pancreas would induce carcinomas correspondent to human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas. We established transgenic (Hras250) rats in which expression of a human Ha-rasG12V oncogene is regulated by the Cre/lox system. Targeted pancreatic activation of the transgene was accomplished by injection of Cre-carrying adenovirus into the pancreatic ducts and acini through the common bile duct. Adenoviral infection of injected animals was exclusive to the pancreas; infected cells could be identified in duct, intercalated duct, centroacinar and, less frequently, acinar cells, but not in endocrine islet cells. Four weeks after injection, proliferative lesions in the duct epithelium, intercalated ducts and centroacinar cells, but not acinar cells, were widespread. Tumorigenesis in other tissues was not observed. Most lesions, including atypical duct proliferative lesions, PanIN-like lesions and carcinomas, were positive for cytokeratins 19 and 7, cyclooxygenase 2 and MMP-7 but negative for amylase and chymotrypsin. Many adenocarcinoma lesions were positive for EGF and EGFR. Duct epithelial and atypical duct proliferative lesions and carcinoma lesions were all positive for transduced Ha-rasG12V oncogene expression. The cytogenesis of pancreatic ductal type carcinoma was depicted. This model exhibits important similarities to the human disease and promises to advance our understanding of the behavior of pancreas adenocarcinomas and expedite screening and therapy.

Journal Article.  6722 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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