Pancreatic and Islet Remodeling in Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator (CFTR) Knockout Ferrets

Pavana G. Rotti, Weiliang Xie, Ananta Poudel, Yaling Yi, Xingshen Sun, Scott R. Tyler, Aliye Uc, Andrew W. Norris, Manami Hara, John F. Engelhardt, Katherine N. Gibson-Corley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


In cystic fibrosis (CF), there is early destruction of the exocrine pancreas, and this results in a unique form of diabetes that affects approximately half of adult CF individuals. An animal model of cystic fibrosis–related diabetes has been developed in the ferret, which progresses through phases of glycemic abnormalities because of islet remodeling during and after exocrine destruction. Herein, we quantified the pancreatic histopathological changes that occur during these phases. There was an increase in percentage ductal, fat, and islet area in CF ferrets over time compared with age-matched wild-type controls. We also quantified islet size, shape, islet cell composition, cell proliferation (Ki-67), and expression of remodeling markers (matrix metalloprotease-7, desmin, and α-smooth muscle actin). Pancreatic ducts were dilated with scattered proliferating cells and were surrounded by activated stellate cells, indicative of tissue remodeling. The timing of islet and duct proliferation, stellate cell activation, and matrix remodeling coincided with the previously published stages of glycemic crisis and inflammation. This mapping of remodeling events in the CF ferret pancreas provides insights into early changes that control glycemic intolerance and subsequent recovery during the evolution of CF pancreatic disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)876-890
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Journal of Pathology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes


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