Pancreatic Acinar-to-Ductal Metaplasia and Pancreatic Cancer

Methods Mol Biol. 2019:1882:299-308. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-8879-2_26.


Acinar-to-ductal metaplasia (ADM) of the pancreas is a process that pancreatic acinar cells differentiate into ductal-like cells with ductal cell traits. The metaplasia of pancreatic acinar cells manifests their ability to adapt to the genetic and environmental pressure they encounter. However, with oncogenic genetic insults and/or sustained environmental stress, ADM may lead to pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PanIN), which is a common precancerous lesion that precedes pancreatic cancer. Understanding the intermediate states of ADM and important molecules that regulate ADM formation may help the development of novel preventive strategies that could be translated to the clinic to benefit the people with high risk of pancreatic cancer. Mouse model is widely used in both in vivo and ex vivo studies of ADM. In this chapter, we describe detailed protocols of injury models of the adult mouse pancreas that can function as a tool to study mechanisms of ADM formation.

Keywords: Acinar-to-ductal metaplasia; Explant culture; Pancreatic cancer; Pancreatic ductal ligation; Pancreatitis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acinar Cells / pathology*
  • Animals
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal / pathology*
  • Cell Transdifferentiation
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / pathology
  • Ceruletide / toxicity
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Metaplasia / pathology
  • Mice
  • Pancreatic Ducts / cytology
  • Pancreatic Ducts / pathology*
  • Pancreatic Ducts / surgery
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Pancreatitis / etiology
  • Pancreatitis / pathology*
  • Primary Cell Culture / instrumentation
  • Primary Cell Culture / methods
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Ceruletide