Delgiorno KE, Hall JC, Takeuchi KK, Pan FC, Halbrook CJ, Washington MK, Olive KP, Spence JR, Sipos B, Wright CV, Wells JM, Crawford HC. Identification and manipulation of biliary metaplasia in pancreatic tumors. Gastroenterology. 2014 Jan;146(146). 233-44.e5. PMID: 23999170 [PubMed] PMCID: PMC3870045 NIHMSID: NIHMS536573.
Metaplasias often have characteristics of developmentally related tissues. Pancreatic metaplastic ducts are usually associated with pancreatitis and pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. The tuft cell is a chemosensory cell that responds to signals in the extracellular environment via effector molecules. Commonly found in the biliary tract, tuft cells are absent from normal murine pancreas. Using the aberrant appearance of tuft cells as an indicator, we tested if pancreatic metaplasia represents transdifferentiation to a biliary phenotype and what effect this has on pancreatic tumorigenesis.