Background & aims: Little is known of the physiological mechanisms that control cellular renewal in the pancreatic excretory duct system. This study investigated the effects of potential regulatory substances on the growth of cultured guinea pig pancreatic duct epithelial monolayers.
Methods: Pancreatic duct explants were cultured for 3 days on plastic and on permeable filters in the presence and absence of different substances. Growth of epithelial monolayers from these explants was measured by 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine incorporation and morphometric procedures.
Results: Epidermal growth factor and insulin both enhanced monolayer growth and together had an additive effect. Transforming growth factor alpha enhanced and transforming growth factor beta inhibited growth, whereas glucagon, somatostatin, pancreatic polypeptide, secretin, cerulein, bombesin, and dexamethasone had no significant effects. Monolayer growth on type 1 collagen-coated filters was enhanced when compared with that of monolayers grown on tissue culture plastic. Cell growth from explants on filters coated with type IV collagen and fibronectin was comparable with that on plastic, whereas growth on Matrigel- or laminin-coated filters was reduced.
Conclusions: Insulin, transforming growth factors, and substrate components modulate growth of pancreatic duct epithelial cells in vitro, suggesting that they are important regulators of cell division in the excretory duct system of the intact pancreas.