To dissect the role of constitutively altered Tgfbr1 signaling in pancreatic cancer development, we crossed Elastase-KrasG12D (EL-Kras) mice with Tgfbr1 haploinsufficient mice to generate EL-Kras/Tgfbr1 +/- mice. Mice were euthanized at 6 to 9 months to compare the incidence, frequency, and size of precancerous lesions in the pancreas. Only 50% of all EL-Kras/Tgfbr1+/- mice developed preinvasive lesions compared with 100% of EL-Kras (wild-type Tgfbr1) mice. The frequency of precancerous lesions was 4-fold lower in haploinsufficient than in control mice. Paradoxically, the precancerous lesions of EL-Kras/Tgfbr1+/- mice were considerably larger than those in EL-Kras mice. Yet, the mitotic index of precancerous cells and the observable levels of fibrosis, lipoatrophy, and lymphocytic infiltration were reduced in EL-Kras/Tgfbr1+/- mice. We conclude that Tgfbr1 signaling promotes the development of precancerous lesions in mice. These findings suggest that individuals with constitutively decreased TGFBR1 expression may have a decreased risk of pancreatic cancer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research