Long-term evolution of acinar-to-ductal metaplasia and β-cell mass after radiofrequency-assisted transection of the pancreas in a controlled large animal model

Pancreatology. 2016 Jan-Feb;16(1):38-43. doi: 10.1016/j.pan.2015.10.014. Epub 2015 Nov 18.


Background: Pancreatic duct ligation (PDL) has been used as a model of chronic pancreatitis and as a model to increase β-cell mass. However, studies in mice have demonstrated acinar regeneration after PDL, questioning the long-term validity of the model. We aim to elucidate whether RF-assisted transection (RFAT) of the main pancreatic duct is a reliable PDL model, both in short (ST, 1-month) and long-term (LT, 6-months) follow-ups.

Methods: Eleven pigs were subjected to RFAT. Biochemical (serum/peripancreatic amylase and glucose) and histological changes (including a semiautomatic morphometric study of over 1000 images/pancreas and IHC analysis) were evaluated after ST or LT follow-up and also in fresh pancreas specimens that were used as controls for 1 (n = 4) and 6 months (n = 6).

Results: The distal pancreas in the ST was characterized by areas of acinar-to-ductal metaplasia (56%) which were significantly reduced at LT (21%) by fibrotic replacement and adipose tissue. The endocrine mass showed a normal increase.

Conclusion: RFAT in the pig seems to be an appropriate PDL model without restoration of pancreatic drainage or reduction of endocrine mass.

Keywords: Acinar-to-ductal metaplasia; Animal model; Duodenopancreatectomy; Pancreatic duct ligation; Radiofrequency-assisted transection; β-cell mass.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amylases / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Cell Proliferation / physiology
  • Cellular Reprogramming / physiology
  • Ligation / methods
  • Pancreatic Ducts / surgery*
  • Swine


  • Amylases