Restoration of CFTR Activity in Ducts Rescues Acinar Cell Function and Reduces Inflammation in Pancreatic and Salivary Glands of Mice.

PMID 28634110


Sjögren's syndrome and autoimmune pancreatitis are disorders with decreased function of salivary, lacrimal glands, and the exocrine pancreas. Nonobese diabetic/ShiLTJ mice and mice transduced with the cytokine BMP6 develop Sjögren's syndrome and chronic pancreatitis and MRL/Mp mice are models of autoimmune pancreatitis. Cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) is a ductal Cl We treated the mice models with the CFTR corrector C18 and the potentiator VX770. Glandular, ductal, and acinar cells damage, infiltration, immune cells and function were measured in vivo and in isolated duct/acini. In the disease models, CFTR expression is markedly reduced. The salivary glands and pancreas are inflamed with increased fibrosis and tissue damage. Treatment with VX770 and, in particular, C18 restored salivation, rescued CFTR expression and localization, and nearly eliminated the inflammation and tissue damage. Transgenic overexpression of CFTR exclusively in the duct had similar effects. Most notably, the markedly reduced acinar cell Ca Our findings reveal that correcting ductal function is sufficient to rescue acinar cell function and suggests that CFTR correctors are strong candidates for the treatment of Sjögren's syndrome and pancreatitis.