Sonic hedgehog (SHH) is frequently expressed in pre-cancerous lesions and carcinoma of the pancreas. A recent study revealed that its expression was higher in the intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm (IPMN) of the pancreas than in the pancreatic carcinoma. However, the correlation between its signaling pathway and tumorigenesis of IPMN has not yet been well documented. We investigated the expression of mRNA and protein of SHH as well as its downstream transcription factor Gli1 in 19 microdissected lesions from 15 cases and in 75 lesions from 33 cases of the IPMN by one-step quantitative real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemistry, respectively. SHH and Glil mRNAs were detected in all the examined lesions and 8 out of 19 lesions in IPMNs, respectively. SHH and Gli1 mRNAs were likely to be up-regulated from the adenoma and from borderline to carcinoma cells, respectively. Immunohistochemical analysis also reported that SHH and Gli1 expression was correlated with the grade of cell atypia. These findings suggested that HH signaling was activated in IPMNs and contributed to tumorigenesis in these types of neoplasms.
- Intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm of the pancreas
- Sonic hedgehog