Immunophenotypes of Ductal Epithelial Cells in Advanced Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma

Digestion. 2019;99(3):247-251. doi: 10.1159/000492861. Epub 2018 Sep 11.


Background/aims: In this report, we aimed to investigate the distribution and characterization of biomarker-immunolabeled ductal epithelium in advanced pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC).

Design: Eighteen patients with PDAC were medically diagnosed prior to being treated periodically. All clinical records were collected and assayed. The PDAC samples were subjected to routine biochemical tests and immuno-stains of immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence.

Results: As results, immunohistochemical findings indicated pancreatic ductal cells in PDAC showed plenty of Ki-67, P53, RP, SAM positive cells expressed in nuclei. In addition, ductal epithelial cells exhibited numerous positive cells of CK7, 18, 19, 20 biomarkers, respectively. Interestingly, compared to non-PDAC controls, immunostaining results showed that endocrine hormones were positively expressed in pancreatic ducts of PDAC, characterized with increased insulin-, Ngn3-, PDX1-fluorescence-labeled cells, and reduced F-box and WD-40 domain protein 7 (Fbxw7)-labeled cells in ducts.

Conclusion: These clinicopathologic findings preliminarily disclose that there may be a potential for insulin-producing cells in PDAC, possibly through negatively inducing Fbxw7 ubiquitination in pancreatic ducts.

Keywords: Biomarker; Ductal cells; Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma; Ubiquitination.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal / immunology*
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal / pathology
  • Epithelial Cells / immunology*
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism
  • F-Box-WD Repeat-Containing Protein 7 / metabolism
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Humans
  • Immunophenotyping / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreatic Ducts / cytology
  • Pancreatic Ducts / immunology*
  • Pancreatic Ducts / pathology
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Ubiquitination


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • F-Box-WD Repeat-Containing Protein 7
  • FBXW7 protein, human