Effects of cerulein on the normal pancreas and on experimental pancreatic carcinoma in the Syrian golden hamster

Pancreas. 1986;1(3):246-53. doi: 10.1097/00006676-198605000-00008.


The effects of cerulein on normal pancreas and on N-nitrobis (2-hydroxypropyl) amine (BHP)-induced experimental pancreatic carcinoma in Syrian golden hamsters were studied. Twenty hamsters received a subcutaneous injection of cerulein (20 micrograms/kg). The results showed that when cerulein was injected subcutaneously for 10 days, pancreatic weight and amylase increased. DNA and the pancreatic weight/DNA ratio were also increased significantly in treated hamsters compared with controls (p less than 0.02 versus p less than 0.01). These results indicated that chronic cerulein injection had hypertrophic and hyperplastic effects. DNA synthesis, as measured by histoautoradiography of tritiated thymidine-labeled tissue, increased in pancreatic acinar cells (p less than 0.01) and increased slightly in islet cells and in ductal cells. Tritiated thymidine uptake in the pancreas of the treated group indicated a rather selective exocrine gland incorporation by acinar rather than ductal cells. Sixty hamsters received a subcutaneous injection of BHP (500 mg/kg) once a week, while 63 hamsters received BHP (500 mg/kg) plus cerulein (20 micrograms/kg). Twenty-seven hamsters received cerulein (20 micrograms/kg) alone. All animals were killed from 8 to 27 weeks later, and no cancer-bearing hamsters were observed during the eighth and ninth week following administration. From the 10th to 14th weeks after administration of BHP and cerulein, 87.9% (13 of 15) had tumors compared with 18.7% (3 of 16) after BHP alone (p less than 0.01). One of three and two of 13 tumors were adenoma.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Amylases / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Ceruletide / pharmacology*
  • Cricetinae
  • DNA / metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Male
  • Mesocricetus
  • Nitrosamines
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Pancreas / drug effects*
  • Pancreas / metabolism
  • Pancreas / pathology
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / chemically induced*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology


  • Nitrosamines
  • diisopropanolnitrosamine
  • Ceruletide
  • DNA
  • Amylases