Research Papers:

Challenges in detecting pre-malignant pancreatic lesions during acute pancreatitis using a serum microRNA assay: a study based on KrasG12D transgenic mice

Xiafei Hong, Jie Zhang, Qiao Wu, Wenze Wang, Adam Yongxin Ye, Wei Song, Hongmei Dai, Xianze Wang, Fan Wu, Lei You, Wenming Wu _ and Yupei Zhao

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:22700-22710. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.8148

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Xiafei Hong1, Jie Zhang2, Qiao Wu3, Wenze Wang4, Adam Yongxin Ye5, Wei Song6, Hongmei Dai1, Xianze Wang1, Fan Wu6, Lei You1, Wenming Wu1, Yupei Zhao1

1Department of General Surgery, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100730, China

2Department of General Surgery, China-Japan Friendship Hospital, Beijing 100029, China

3Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, Beijing Chaoyang Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100020, China

4Department of Pathology, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100730, China

5Center for Bioinformatics, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China

6Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, State Key Laboratory of Medical Molecular Biology, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100005, China

Correspondence to:

Wenming Wu, e-mail: [email protected]

Yupei Zhao, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: microRNA, KrasG12D, pancreatitis, PanIN, miR-210

Received: October 09, 2015     Accepted: February 16, 2016     Published: March 17, 2016


Caerulein-induced acute pancreatitis accelerates the progression of pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PanIN) lesions in a pancreas-specific KrasG12D mouse model. The purpose of this study was to explore whether serum microRNAs (miRNAs) can serve as sensitive biomarkers to detect occult PanIN in the setting of acute pancreatitis. Serum miRNA profiles were quantified by an array-based method and normalized by both Variance Stabilization Normalization (VSN) and invariant methods. Individual miRNAs were validated by TaqMan real-time PCR with synthetic spike-in C. elegans miRNAs as external controls. Serum miRNA profiles distinguished KrasG12D mice with pancreatitis from wild-type mice without pancreatitis, but failed to differentiate KrasG12D mice with pancreatitis from wild-type mice with pancreatitis. Most individual miRNAs that increased in KrasG12D mice with pancreatitis were not significantly different between KrasG12D mice without pancreatitis and wild-type mice without pancreatitis. Mechanistically, Gene Set Enrichment Analysis (GSEA) of the mRNA array data and immunohistochemical assays showed that caerulein-induced acute pancreatitis involved acinar cell loss and immune cell infiltration, which might contribute to serum miRNA profile changes. This study highlighted the challenges in using sensitive serum miRNA biomarker screening for the early detection of pancreatic malignancies during acute pancreatitis.

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