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Event: 1725

Key Event Title

The KE title should describe a discrete biological change that can be measured. It should generally define the biological object or process being measured and whether it is increased, decreased, or otherwise definably altered relative to a control state. For example “enzyme activity, decreased”, “hormone concentration, increased”, or “growth rate, decreased”, where the specific enzyme or hormone being measured is defined. More help

Pancreatic acinar cell tumors

Short name
The KE short name should be a reasonable abbreviation of the KE title and is used in labelling this object throughout the AOP-Wiki. The short name should be less than 80 characters in length. More help
Acinar cell tumors

Biological Context

Structured terms, selected from a drop-down menu, are used to identify the level of biological organization for each KE. Note, KEs should be defined within a particular level of biological organization. Only KERs should be used to transition from one level of organization to another. Selection of the level of biological organization defines which structured terms will be available to select when defining the Event Components (below). More help

Cell term

Further information on Event Components and Biological Context may be viewed on the attached pdf.The biological context describes the location/biological environment in which the event takes place.  For molecular/cellular events this would include the cellular context (if known), organ context, and species/life stage/sex for which the event is relevant. For tissue/organ events cellular context is not applicable.  For individual/population events, the organ context is not applicable. More help

Organ term

Further information on Event Components and Biological Context may be viewed on the attached pdf.The biological context describes the location/biological environment in which the event takes place.  For molecular/cellular events this would include the cellular context (if known), organ context, and species/life stage/sex for which the event is relevant. For tissue/organ events cellular context is not applicable.  For individual/population events, the organ context is not applicable. More help

Key Event Components

Further information on Event Components and Biological Context may be viewed on the attached pdf.Because one of the aims of the AOP-KB is to facilitate de facto construction of AOP networks through the use of shared KE and KER elements, authors are also asked to define their KEs using a set of structured ontology terms (Event Components). In the absence of structured terms, the same KE can readily be defined using a number of synonymous titles (read by a computer as character strings). In order to make these synonymous KEs more machine-readable, KEs should also be defined by one or more “event components” consisting of a biological process, object, and action with each term originating from one of 22 biological ontologies (Ives, et al., 2017; See List). Biological process describes dynamics of the underlying biological system (e.g., receptor signalling). The biological object is the subject of the perturbation (e.g., a specific biological receptor that is activated or inhibited). Action represents the direction of perturbation of this system (generally increased or decreased; e.g., ‘decreased’ in the case of a receptor that is inhibited to indicate a decrease in the signalling by that receptor).Note that when editing Event Components, clicking an existing Event Component from the Suggestions menu will autopopulate these fields, along with their source ID and description. To clear any fields before submitting the event component, use the 'Clear process,' 'Clear object,' or 'Clear action' buttons. If a desired term does not exist, a new term request may be made via Term Requests. Event components may not be edited; to edit an event component, remove the existing event component and create a new one using the terms that you wish to add. More help
Process Object Action

Key Event Overview

AOPs Including This Key Event

All of the AOPs that are linked to this KE will automatically be listed in this subsection. This table can be particularly useful for derivation of AOP networks including the KE. Clicking on the name of the AOP will bring you to the individual page for that AOP. More help
AOP Name Role of event in AOP Point of Contact Author Status OECD Status
TI-induced AC tumors AdverseOutcome Shigeru Hisada (send email) Under development: Not open for comment. Do not cite Under Development


This is a structured field used to identify specific agents (generally chemicals) that can trigger the KE. Stressors identified in this field will be linked to the KE in a machine-readable manner, such that, for example, a stressor search would identify this as an event the stressor can trigger. NOTE: intermediate or downstream KEs in one AOP may function as MIEs in other AOPs, meaning that stressor information may be added to the KE description, even if it is a downstream KE in the pathway currently under development.Information concerning the stressors that may trigger an MIE can be defined using a combination of structured and unstructured (free-text) fields. For example, structured fields may be used to indicate specific chemicals for which there is evidence of an interaction relevant to this MIE. By linking the KE description to a structured chemical name, it will be increasingly possible to link the MIE to other sources of chemical data and information, enhancing searchability and inter-operability among different data-sources and knowledgebases. The free-text section “Evidence for perturbation of this MIE by stressor” can be used both to identify the supporting evidence for specific stressors triggering the MIE as well as to define broad chemical categories or other properties that classify the stressors able to trigger the MIE for which specific structured terms may not exist. More help

Taxonomic Applicability

Latin or common names of a species or broader taxonomic grouping (e.g., class, order, family) can be selected from an ontology. In many cases, individual species identified in these structured fields will be those for which the strongest evidence used in constructing the AOP was available in relation to this KE. More help
Term Scientific Term Evidence Link
Homo sapiens Homo sapiens Moderate NCBI
Macaca fascicularis Macaca fascicularis Moderate NCBI
Rattus norvegicus Rattus norvegicus High NCBI
Mus musculus Mus musculus Moderate NCBI

Life Stages

The structured ontology terms for life-stage are more comprehensive than those for taxa, but may still require further description/development and explanation in the free text section. More help
Life stage Evidence
All life stages High

Sex Applicability

No help message More help
Term Evidence
Mixed High

Key Event Description

A description of the biological state being observed or measured, the biological compartment in which it is measured, and its general role in the biology should be provided. For example, the biological state being measured could be the activity of an enzyme, the expression of a gene or abundance of an mRNA transcript, the concentration of a hormone or protein, neuronal activity, heart rate, etc. The biological compartment may be a particular cell type, tissue, organ, fluid (e.g., plasma, cerebrospinal fluid), etc. The role in the biology could describe the reaction that an enzyme catalyses and the role of that reaction within a given metabolic pathway; the protein that a gene or mRNA transcript codes for and the function of that protein; the function of a hormone in a given target tissue, physiological function of an organ, etc. Careful attention should be taken to avoid reference to other KEs, KERs or AOPs. Only describe this KE as a single isolated measurable event/state. This will ensure that the KE is modular and can be used by other AOPs, thereby facilitating construction of AOP networks. More help

Several reports have shown that increased blood CCK levels directly stimulate acinar cell proliferation via CCK1 receptors in rats as follows:

In rats with a sustained increase in the CCK level due to treatment with a CCK1 receptor agonist (CCK-8), acinar cell proliferation and pancreatic hypertrophy were induced [Folsch UR et al, 1978; Povoski SP et al, 1994]. Endogenous and exogenous increases in blood CCK levels induced pancreatic hypertrophy due to the direct action of CCK on acinar cells [Yamamoto M et al, 2003]. Repeated administration of the CCK1 receptor agonist GI181771X to rats and mice resulted in pancreatic injury, hypertrophy and diffuse/focal hyperplasia of acinar cells, and zymogen degranulation depending on the dose and dosing period [Myer JR et al, 2014].

Administration of the trypsin inhibitor A8947 to rats increased pancreatic weight; however, infusion of the selective CCK1 receptor antagonist MK-329 using an osmotic minipump completely diminished this effect of A8947 on pancreatic weight [Obourn JD et al, 1997].

These results indicate that CCK directly stimulates pancreatic acinar cell proliferation via CCK1 receptors, and trypsin inhibition enhances acinar cell proliferation due to an increased plasma level of CCK.

How It Is Measured or Detected

One of the primary considerations in evaluating AOPs is the relevance and reliability of the methods with which the KEs can be measured. The aim of this section of the KE description is not to provide detailed protocols, but rather to capture, in a sentence or two, per method, the type(s) of measurements that can be employed to evaluate the KE and the relative level of scientific confidence in those measurements. Methods that can be used to detect or measure the biological state represented in the KE should be briefly described and/or cited. These can range from citation of specific validated test guidelines, citation of specific methods published in the peer reviewed literature, or outlines of a general protocol or approach (e.g., a protein may be measured by ELISA).Key considerations regarding scientific confidence in the measurement approach include whether the assay is fit for purpose, whether it provides a direct or indirect measure of the biological state in question, whether it is repeatable and reproducible, and the extent to which it is accepted in the scientific and/or regulatory community. Information can be obtained from the OECD Test Guidelines website and the EURL ECVAM Database Service on Alternative Methods to Animal Experimentation (DB-ALM). ?

Pancreatic acinar cell proliferation is evaluated based on measurements of pancreatic weight and DNA and RNA levels [Folsch UR et al, 1978; Povoski SP et al, 1994; Tashiro M et al, 2004], as well as histopathological examination [Povoski SP et al, 1994]. In these experiment, pancreatic weight, protein content, RNA content, DNA content, protein-DNA ratio, RNA-DNA ratio, pancreatic area per nucleus, and number of mitoses per 10,000 acinar cells could be determined. Among such parameters, Increased DNA content and number of mitoses per 10,000 acinar cells are indicative of acinar cell hyperplasia, and the others suggest pancreatic or acinar cell hypertrophy and increased pancreatic protein synthesis.

Domain of Applicability

This free text section should be used to elaborate on the scientific basis for the indicated domains of applicability and the WoE calls (if provided). While structured terms may be selected to define the taxonomic, life stage and sex applicability (see structured applicability terms, above) of the KE, the structured terms may not adequately reflect or capture the overall biological applicability domain (particularly with regard to taxa). Likewise, the structured terms do not provide an explanation or rationale for the selection. The free-text section on evidence for taxonomic, life stage, and sex applicability can be used to elaborate on why the specific structured terms were selected, and provide supporting references and background information.  More help

In monkeys receiving repeated dosing of the CCK1 receptor agonist GI181771X for up to 52 weeks, no hypertrophy or histopathological changes of the pancreas were observed, but these results differed from those of rats [Myer JR et al, 2014]. In humans, obese patients treated with GI181771X for 24 weeks showed no abnormal changes in the pancreas by ultrasonography or MRI [Jordan J et al, 2008]. On the other hand, oral ingestion of raw soya flour, which contains trypsin inhibitors, increased the release of CCK in humans [Calam J et al, 1987]. In addition, some epidemiological studies reported that the incidence of pancreatic tumors in humans administered high levels of protease inhibitors was decreased [Messina M and Messina V, 1991; Miller RV, 1978]. These results suggest no relevance between pancreatic growth/tumor development and CCK-agonist treatment in humans or non-human primates.

As indicated above, the effects of CCK on acinar cell proliferation differ between rodents and humans. In rodents, proliferation of pancreatic acinar cells is regulated directly via CCK1 receptors expressed on their surfaces. However, in humans, CCK1 receptor density on the surface of pancreatic acinar cells is low, and exocrine secretion is innervated by vagal afferent nerves, with little effect on acinar cell proliferation.

Regulatory Significance of the Adverse Outcome

An AO is a specialised KE that represents the end (an adverse outcome of regulatory significance) of an AOP. For KEs that are designated as an AO, one additional field of information (regulatory significance of the AO) should be completed, to the extent feasible. If the KE is being described is not an AO, simply indicate “not an AO” in this section.A key criterion for defining an AO is its relevance for regulatory decision-making (i.e., it corresponds to an accepted protection goal or common apical endpoint in an established regulatory guideline study). For example, in humans this may constitute increased risk of disease-related pathology in a particular organ or organ system in an individual or in either the entire or a specified subset of the population. In wildlife, this will most often be an outcome of demographic significance that has meaning in terms of estimates of population sustainability. Given this consideration, in addition to describing the biological state associated with the AO, how it can be measured, and its taxonomic, life stage, and sex applicability, it is useful to describe regulatory examples using this AO. More help


List of the literature that was cited for this KE description. Ideally, the list of references, should conform, to the extent possible, with the OECD Style Guide ( (OECD, 2015). More help

 1.    Calam J, Bojarski JC, Springer CJ: Raw soya-bean flour increases cholecystokinin release in man. Br J Nutr 58:175-179,1987

 2.    Folsch UR, Winckler K, Wormsley KG: Influence of repeated administration of cholecystokinin and secretin on the pancreas of the rat. Scand J Gastroenterol 13:663-671,1978

 3.    Jordan J, Greenway FL, Leiter LA, Li Z, Jacobson P, Murphy K, Hill J, Kler L, Aftring RP: Stimulation of cholecystokinin-A receptors with GI181771X does not cause weight loss in overweight or obese patients. Clin Pharmacol Ther 83:281-287,2008

 4.    Messina M, Messina V: Increasing use of soyfoods and their potential role in cancer prevention. J Am Diet Assoc 91:836-840,1991

 5.    Miller RV: Epidemiology. Alan R. Liss, New York (pp) 39-57,1978

 6.    Myer JR, Romach EH, Elangbam CS: Species- and dose-specific pancreatic responses and progression in single- and repeat-dose studies with GI181771X: a novel cholecystokinin 1 receptor agonist in mice, rats, and monkeys. Toxicol Pathol 42:260-274,2014

 7.    Obourn JD, Frame SR, Chiu T, Solomon TE, Cook JC: Evidence that A8947 enhances pancreas growth via a trypsin inhibitor mechanism. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 146:116-126,1997

 8.    Povoski SP, Zhou W, Longnecker DS, Jensen RT, Mantey SA, Bell RH Jr: Stimulation of in vivo pancreatic growth in the rat is mediated specifically by way of cholecystokinin-A receptors. Gastroenterology 107:1135-1146,1994

 9.    Tashiro M, Samuelson LC, Liddle RA, Williams JA: Calcineurin mediates pancreatic growth in protease inhibitor-treated mice. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol 286:G784-790,2004

10.    Yamamoto M, Otani M, Jia DM, Fukumitsu K, Yoshikawa H, Akiyama T, Otsuki M: Differential mechanism and site of action of CCK on the pancreatic secretion and growth in rats. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol 285:G681-687,2003