Research Papers:

Prevention of pancreatic cancer in a hamster model by cAMP decrease

Jheelam Banerjee, Arokya M.S. Papu John, Mohammed H. Al-Wadei and Hildegard M. Schuller _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:44430-44441. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.9790

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Jheelam Banerjee1, Arokya M.S. Papu John1, Mohammed H. Al-Wadei1, Hildegard M. Schuller1

1Experimental Oncology Laboratory, Department of Biomedical & Diagnostic Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, USA

Correspondence to:

Hildegard M. Schuller, email: hmsch@utk.edu

Keywords: pancreatic cancer, prevention, γ-aminobutyric acid, cyclic adenosine monophosphate, cancer stem cell signaling

Received: December 2, 2015    Accepted: May 22, 2016    Published: June 02, 2016


Smoking and alcoholism are risk factors for the development of pancreatitis-associated pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). We have previously shown that these cancers overexpressed stress neurotransmitters and cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) while the inhibitory neurotransmitter γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) was suppressed. Using a hamster model, the current study has tested the hypothesis that cAMP decrease by GABA supplementation in the drinking water prevents the development of pancreatitis-associated PDAC. Our data reveal strong preventive effects of GABA supplementation on the development of PDAC and pancreatic intraductal neoplasia (PanIN). ELISA assays and immunohistochemistry revealed significant decreases in the levels of cAMP and interleukin 6 accompanied by reductions in the expression of several cancer stem cell markers and phosphorylated signaling proteins, which stimulate cell proliferation, and migration in pancreatic exocrine cells of GABA treated animals. We conclude that cAMP decrease by GABA supplementation inhibits multiple cancer stimulating pathways in cancer stem cells, differentiated cancer cells and the immune system, identifying this approach as promising novel tool for the prevention of PDAC in individuals with a history of smoking and alcoholism.

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