The pancreatic stellate cell: a star on the rise in pancreatic diseases

J Clin Invest. 2007 Jan;117(1):50-9. doi: 10.1172/JCI30082.


Pancreatic stellate cells (PaSCs) are myofibroblast-like cells found in the areas of the pancreas that have exocrine function. PaSCs are regulated by autocrine and paracrine stimuli and share many features with their hepatic counterparts, studies of which have helped further our understanding of PaSC biology. Activation of PaSCs induces them to proliferate, to migrate to sites of tissue damage, to contract and possibly phagocytose, and to synthesize ECM components to promote tissue repair. Sustained activation of PaSCs has an increasingly appreciated role in the fibrosis that is associated with chronic pancreatitis and with pancreatic cancer. Therefore, understanding the biology of PaSCs offers potential therapeutic targets for the treatment and prevention of these diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Fibroblasts / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Pancreas / pathology*
  • Pancreatic Diseases / pathology*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology*