Endothelin-1 and endothelin B receptor expression in pancreatic adenocarcinoma

J Clin Pathol. 2015 Apr;68(4):309-13. doi: 10.1136/jclinpath-2014-202521. Epub 2015 Jan 8.


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.


Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / chemistry*
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Endothelin-1 / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / chemistry*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Receptor, Endothelin B
  • Receptors, Endothelin / analysis*
  • Tissue Array Analysis
  • Up-Regulation


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • EDNRB protein, human
  • Endothelin-1
  • Receptor, Endothelin B
  • Receptors, Endothelin