Secretin is not necessary for exocrine pancreatic development and growth in mice

Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2011 Nov;301(5):G791-8. doi: 10.1152/ajpgi.00245.2011. Epub 2011 Aug 18.


Adaptive exocrine pancreatic growth is mediated primarily by dietary protein and the gastrointestinal hormone cholecystokinin (CCK). Feeding trypsin inhibitors such as camostat (FOY-305) is known to induce CCK release and stimulate pancreatic growth. However, camostat has also been reported to stimulate secretin release and, because secretin often potentiates the action of CCK, it could participate in the growth response. Our aim was to test the role of secretin in pancreatic development and adaptive growth through the use of C57BL/6 mice with genetic deletion of secretin or secretin receptor. The lack of secretin in the intestine or the secretin receptor in the pancreas was confirmed by RT-PCR. Other related components, such as vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP) receptors (VPAC(1) and VPAC(2)), were not affected. Secretin increased cAMP levels in acini from wild-type (WT) mice but had no effect on acini from secretin receptor-deleted mice, whereas VIP and forskolin still induced a normal response. Secretin in vivo failed to induce fluid secretion in receptor-deficient mice. The pancreas of secretin or secretin receptor-deficient mice was of normal size and histology, indicating that secretin is not necessary for normal pancreatic differentiation or maintenance. When WT mice were fed 0.1% camostat in powdered chow, the pancreas doubled in size in 1 wk, accompanied by parallel increases in protein and DNA. Camostat-fed littermate secretin and secretin receptor-deficient mice had similar pancreatic mass to WT mice. These results indicate that secretin is not required for normal pancreatic development or adaptive growth mediated by CCK.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Acinar Cells / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Cholecystokinin / metabolism
  • Cyclic AMP / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Pancreas, Exocrine / growth & development*
  • Pancreas, Exocrine / metabolism
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / genetics
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Gastrointestinal Hormone / genetics
  • Receptors, Gastrointestinal Hormone / metabolism*
  • Secretin / genetics
  • Secretin / metabolism*
  • Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide / metabolism


  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled
  • Receptors, Gastrointestinal Hormone
  • secretin receptor
  • Secretin
  • Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide
  • Cholecystokinin
  • Cyclic AMP