Research ArticlePANCREATITIS

Pancreatitis is an FGF21-deficient state that is corrected by replacement therapy

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Science Translational Medicine  08 Jan 2020:
Vol. 12, Issue 525, eaay5186
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aay5186

Pancreatic stress management

Pancreatitis results from the premature activation of digestive enzymes in the pancreas and can be potentially life threatening. Hernandez et al. found pancreatic fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) deficiency in three mouse models and patient biopsies of acute and chronic pancreatitis. The authors showed that this deficiency resulted from the activation of the integrated stress response, and accordingly, both FGF21 administration and pharmacologic stress response inhibition restored FGF21 and alleviated symptoms in acute and chronic models of the disease. FGF21 treatment also prevented pancreatitis onset in a model of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, a therapeutic procedure that carries pancreatitis risk. This study could have implications for the clinical management of pancreatitis.

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