Increased transforming growth factor beta in pure pancreatic juice in pancreatitis

Pancreas. 2001 Mar;22(2):193-5. doi: 10.1097/00006676-200103000-00013.


Cytokines play an important role in the regulation of inflammation and fibrosis in the development of chronic pancreatitis. In this study, transforming growth factor beta (TGFbeta), interleukin (IL)-6, IL-10, and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha) were measured in pure pancreatic juice obtained through pancreatic duct cannulation. Twenty patients with chronic pancreatitis were compared with six patients thought to be free of pancreatic disease who were undergoing endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography for biliary tract disorders. TGFbeta was detected in 17 of 20 patients with chronic pancreatitis tested (85%), compared with only one patient in the control group (17%). There was no measurable amount of IL-10, IL-6, or TNFalpha in any of the pure pancreatic juice samples from any of the patients. These data indicate that TGFbeta may play an active role in the advancement of pancreatitis by causing local inflammation and inducing fibroblasts to secrete collagen. This finding may be relevant in the future for identifying patients whose conditions may advance to chronic pancreatitis, and blocking the effects of TGFbeta could have therapeutic effects.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-10 / analysis
  • Interleukin-6 / analysis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreatic Juice / chemistry*
  • Pancreatitis / metabolism*
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / analysis*
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / chemistry
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / analysis


  • Interleukin-6
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Interleukin-10