Endocrine-paracrine cells in pancreatic exocrine carcinomas


Address for correspondence: Dr V. Eusebi, Istituto di Anatomia e Istologia Patologica, Policlinico S. Orsola, Via Massarenti 9, Bologna, Italy.


Eleven cases of primary pancreatic adenocarcinomas have been investigated histochemically, immunohistochemically and with electron-microscopy. Endocrine-paracrine (EP) cells were present in six of these tumours. In one case numerous 5HT-enterochromaffin cells (EC) of the intestinal type and a few somatostatin immunoreactive D cells were found. Two cases contained insulin-immunoreactive cells and another case displayed glucagon-IR elements. In the remaining two cases argyrophilic cells were present. These findings demonstrate that polypeptide hormone or amine production is not restricted to islet cell tumours. It is suggested that both endocrine and exocrine components of the tumours studied might have derived from a common precursor.