Pancreatic Stellate Cells (PSCs) express cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and pancreatic cancer stimulates COX-2 in PSCs

Seiya Yoshida, Michael Ujiki, Xian Zhong Ding, Carolyn Pelham, Mark S. Talamonti, Richard H. Bell, Woody Denham, Thomas E. Adrian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2), the inducible form of prostaglandin G/H synthase, is associated with several human cancers including pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Pancreatic stellate cells (PSCs) play a central role in the intense desmoplasia that surrounds pancreatic adenocarcinoma. The present study examined COX-2 expression in PSCs. PSCs isolated from normal rats, were cultured and exposed to conditioned medium (CM) from the human pancreatic cell line, PANC-1. Methods: COX-2 expression was evaluated by immunostaining and western blotting. Proliferation of PSCs was determined by thymidine incorporation and cell counting. Results: COX-2 was found to be constitutively expressed in PSCs, and COX-2 protein was upregulated by PANC-1 CM. Moreover, the induction of COX-2 by PANC-1 CM was prevented by U0126, an extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) 1/2 inhibitor suggesting that activation of ERK 1/2 is needed for stimulation of COX-2. Finally, NS398, a selective COX-2 inhibitor, reduced the growth of PSCs by PANC-1 CM, indicating that activation of COX-2 is required for cancer stimulated PSC proliferation. Conclusion: The results suggest that COX-2 may play an important role in the regulation of PSC proliferation in response to pancreatic cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number27
JournalMolecular Cancer
Publication statusPublished - Aug 5 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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