STC2 over-expression reduces severity of acinar cell damage during cerulein-induced pancreatic injury. (A) Analysis of serum amylase levels four hours into CIP treatment show that serum amylase levels rise approximately 3 fold in WT mice when compared to saline (•) whereas the increase in STC2Tgmice is significantly lower at 2-fold (■; * p < 0.01). (B) Tissue edema analysis revealed significant increases for both WT and STC2Tgtissue 4 hours into CIP (black bars) when compared to saline controls (white bars; n = 4 animals). No difference between genotypes was observed. (C) Representative Western blot for procarboxypeptidase (47 kDa) and carboxypeptidase (CPA; 33 kDa) or trypsinogen four hours after initial saline (Sal.) or cerulein (CIP) injections showed decreased accumulation of activate CPA in STC2Tgmice four hours into CIP. Trypsinogen levels do not differ between genotypes. (D) Quantification by densitometry (graph) comparing the ratio of cleaved (active; 33 kDa) to total CPA revealed a significant increase in WT tissue and, to a significantly lower extent, in STC2Tgtissue (n = 4 animals, letters represent statistically different values; p < 0.05). IF analysis for β-catenin (E-H) or Cx32 (I-L) in wild type (WT) or STC2Tg(Tg) mice four hours after initial injection of saline (E, G, I, K) or cerulein (F, H, J, L) showing decreased accumulation only in WT tissue during CIP. (M) Representative Western blot analysis on pancreatic protein extracts 4 hours after initial saline or cerulein (CIP) injection confirm decreased β-catenin and Cx32 accumulation only in WT-CIP treated tissue (n = 4).