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Pancreatic stellate cells: what's new?

Pang, Tony C.Y.a,b; Wilson, Jeremy S.a,b; Apte, Minoti V.a,b

Current Opinion in Gastroenterology: September 2017 - Volume 33 - Issue 5 - p 366–373
doi: 10.1097/MOG.0000000000000378
PANCREAS: Edited by Rodger Liddle

Purpose of review Pancreatic stellate cells (PSCs) play an integral role in the pathogenesis of pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer. With the developing knowledge of this important cell type, we are at the cusp of developing effective therapies for the above diseases based upon targeting the PSC and modulating its function.

Recent findings The major themes of the recent PSC literature include: PSC interactions with the extracellular matrix and other stromal components; intracellular calcium physiology as drivers of mechanical interactions and necrosis; the relationship between proinflammatory, protumoural, angiogenic, and metabolic pathways in pancreatic necrosis, fibrosis, and carcinogenesis; and targeting of the stroma for antitumoural and antifibrotic effects.

Summary Traditionally, there have been few treatment options for pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer. The elucidation of the wide-ranging functions of PSCs provide an opportunity for treatments based on stromal reprogramming.

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aPancreatic Research Group, South Western Sydney Clinical School, University of New South Wales

bIngham Institute for Applied Medical Research, Liverpool, Australia

Correspondence to Professor Minoti V. Apte, Director, Pancreatic Research Group, Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research, 1 Campbell Street, Liverpool, NSW 2170 Australia. E-mail:

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