The cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) protein is highly expressed in the pancreatic duct epithelia and permits anions and water to enter the ductal lumen. This results in an increased volume of alkaline fluid allowing the highly concentrated proteins secreted by the acinar cells to remain in a soluble state. This work will expound on the pathophysiology and pathology caused by the malfunctioning CFTR protein with special reference to ion transport and acid-base abnormalities both in humans and animal models. We will also discuss the relationship between cystic fibrosis (CF) and pancreatitis, and outline present and potential therapeutic approaches in CF treatment relevant to the pancreas.
Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine, 2013, Vol 3, Issue 5, p. 1-17