p53-dependent acinar cell apoptosis triggers epithelial proliferation in duct-ligated murine pancreas

Charles R. Scoggins, Ingrid M. Meszoely, Michihiko Wada, Anna L. Means, Liying Yang, Steven D. Leach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


The mechanisms linking acinar cell apoptosis and ductal epithelial proliferation remain unknown. To determine the relationship between these events, pancreatic duct ligation (PDL) was performed on p53(+/+) and p53(-/-) mice. In mice bearing a wild-type p53 allele, PDL resulted in upregulation of p53 protein in both acinar cells and proliferating duct-like epithelium. In contrast, upregulation of Bcl-2 occurred only in duct-like epithelium. Both p21(WAE1/CIP1) and Bax were also upregulated in duct-ligated lobes. After PDL in p53(+/+) mice, acinar cells underwent widespread apoptosis, while duct-like epithelium underwent proliferative expansion. In the absence of p53, upregulation of p53 target genes and acinar cell apoptosis did not occur. The absence of acinar cell apoptosis in p53(-/-) mice also eliminated the proliferative response to duct ligation. These data demonstrate that PDL-induced acinar cell apoptosis is a p53-dependent event and suggest a direct link between acinar cell apoptosis and proliferation of duct-like epithelium in duct-ligated pancreas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)G827-G836
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number4 42-4
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Bax
  • Bcl-2
  • Duct ligation
  • P21
  • Regeneration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology (medical)


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