Recruitment of pancreatic stellate cells from a local compartment of progenitor cells following experimental acute pancreatitis.

Project Details


In 1998, pancreatic stellate cells (PSCs) were identified and characterized. these cells play a major role in the pathogenesis of chronic pancreatitis and in the distribution of tumor cells in pancreas cancer. The role of PSCs in acute pancreatitis and the subsequent healing phase have not been studied yet. Preliminary experiments were done at the dept. Cell Biology-VUB on the kinetics of PSCs in an animal model of acute pancreatitis (caerulei model). Immunostainings for desmine (a marker for PSCs) and Ki-67 (a marker for proliferation) were performed at 1 hour to 14 days after intraperitoneal administration of caerulein in rats and PSCs were counted. Cell kinetics of PSCs in caerulein induced acute pancreatitis clearly showed 3 phases (see 7§A.3). After an initial, fast and complete disappearance of PSCs, the first PSCs to reappear, were located inthe periductular connective tissue around the pancreatic ductuli with recolonisation of the parenchyma later on;Strong proliferation was seen in the epithelial cells of the ductuli and in the periductular connective tissue cells. The hypothesis is that a local periductular progenitor cell niche or cell compartment is present.
The objective of our project is to characterize this progenitor cell niche. Immunostainings will be performed to test markers of mesenchymal progenitor cells (Stro-1+, WGA+, Sca-1+, ...) and to cunt the different cell populations in the niche. These stainings require a very sensitive method, allowing visualization of triple and quadruple stainings. Immunofluorescence microscopy, in combination with a monochromator, is the best option. A monochromator generates light of a limited bandwith of wavelenghts (+/- 7.5 nm) It allows to define the excitation wavelength very accurately and results in a very selective excitation of the different fluorochromes. This new method is superior to the old method with traditional excitationfilters (bandwith: 30 and 40 nm). We apply for a budget for consumables for 2 years (2 x 16.000 EUR) and a budget for buying the monochromator with high resolution camera and software (41.500 EUR)
Effective start/end date1/01/0731/12/07


  • cells

Flemish discipline codes

  • Basic sciences