Background: Endothelin-1 (ET-1) acting through endothelin A and B receptors (ETAR and ETBR) has been implicated in the development of cancer. The endothelin axis has not previously been characterised in human pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PAC).
Methods: Expression of ET-1, ETAR, ETBR, vascular endothelial growth factor and microvessel density (MVD) was determined by immunohistochemistry in 45 surgically resected human PACs and 15 non-cancer human pancreas samples.
Results: PAC had the highest staining intensity for ET-1 and ETBR: 38% PAC samples scored 2+ or more compared with 7% non-cancer sample in ET-1; 58% PAC samples scored 2+ compared with 0% non-cancer samples in ETBR. MVD was significantly lower in PAC compared with non-cancer tissue (p<0.0001).
Conclusions: PAC was characterised by greater expression of ET-1 and ETBR compared with normal pancreas.
Keywords: ANGIOGENESIS; IMMUNOHISTOCHEMISTRY; PANCREATIC CANCER.
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