Identification and Characterization of Poorly Differentiated Invasive Carcinomas in a Mouse Model of Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumorigenesis
Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PanNETs) are a relatively rare but clinically challenging tumor type. In particular, high grade, poorly-differentiated PanNETs have the worst patient prognosis, and the underlying mechanisms of disease are poorly understood. In this study we have identified and characterized a previously undescribed class of poorly differentiated PanNETs in the RIP1-Tag2 mouse model. We found that while the majority of tumors in the RIP1-Tag2 model are well-differentiated insulinomas, a subset of tumors had lost multiple markers of beta-cell differentiation and were highly invasive, leading us to term them poorly differentiated invasive carcinomas (PDICs). In addition, we found that these tumors exhibited a high mitotic index, resembling poorly differentiated (PD)-PanNETs in human patients. Interestingly, we identified expression of Id1, an inhibitor of DNA binding gene, and a regulator of differentiation, specifically in PDIC tumor cells by histological analysis. The identification of PDICs in this mouse model provides a unique opportunity to study the pathology and molecular characteristics of PD-PanNETs.