Increased Chromogranin A-Positive Hormone-Negative Cells in Chronic Pancreatitis

Abu Saleh Md Moin, Megan Cory, Jennifer Choi, Allison Ong, Sangeeta Dhawan, Sarah M. Dry, Peter C. Butler, Robert A. Rizza, Alexandra E. Butler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Context Chronic pancreatitis (CP) is characterized by inflammation, fibrosis, and a loss of pancreatic acinar cells, which can result in exocrine and eventually endocrine deficiency. Pancreatitis has been reported to induce formation of new endocrine cells (neogenesis) in mice. Our recent data have implicated chromogranin A-positive hormone-negative (CPHN) cells as potential evidence of neogenesis in humans. Objective We sought to establish if CPHN cells were more abundant in CP in humans. Design, Setting, and Participants We investigated the frequency and distribution of CPHN cells and the expression of the chemokine C-X-C motif ligand 10 (CXCL10) and its receptor chemokine C-X-C motif receptor 3 in pancreas of nondiabetic subjects with CP. Results CPHN cell frequency in islets was increased sevenfold in CP [2.1% ± 0.67% vs 0.35% ± 0.09% CPHN cells in islets, CP vs nonpancreatitis (NP), P < 0.01], as were the CPHN cells found as scattered cells in the exocrine areas (17.4 ± 2.9 vs 4.2 ± 0.6, CP vs NP, P < 0.001). Polyhormonal endocrine cells were also increased in CP (2.7 ± 1.2 vs 0.1 ± 0.04, CP vs NP, % of polyhormonal cells of total endocrine cells, P < 0.01), as was expression of CXCL10 in α and β cells. Conclusion There is increased islet endogenous expression of the inflammation marker CXCL10 in islets in the setting of nondiabetic CP and an increase in polyhormonal (insulin-glucagon expressing) cells. The increase in CPHN cells in CP, often in a lobular distribution, may indicate foci of attempted endocrine cell regeneration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2126-2135
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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