Lipocalin-2 expression and function in pancreatic diseases

Kristyn Gumpper, Andrew William Dangel, Valentina Pita-Grisanti, Somashekar G. Krishna, Luis F. Lara, Thomas Mace, Georgios I. Papachristou, Darwin L. Conwell, Phil A. Hart, Zobeida Cruz-Monserrate

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Lipocalin-2 (LCN2) is a secreted molecule, expressed in various cell types, that is involved in the progression of numerous diseases and disorders. The biological functions and expression levels of LCN2 in diseases including pancreatic cancer, pancreatitis (acute and chronic), and diabetes mellitus, suggest the potential role of LCN2 as a biomarker and/or therapeutic target. However, findings on the role of LCN2 in pancreatic diseases have been contradictory. In pancreatic cancer and pancreatitis, LCN2 has been identified as a potential biomarker; increased expression levels in various biological specimens correlate with the presence of the disease and may be able to differentiate cancer and chronic pancreatitis from healthy subjects. LCN2 is also known to be an adipokine; it is upregulated in obesity and is a common co-factor in the development of pancreatic diseases. Emerging research suggests LCN2 is elevated in type 2 diabetes mellitus, but the exact role of LCN2 in this disease is not clear. In this review, we summarize research on LCN2 as it relates to pancreatic diseases, highlighting the discrepancies in the literature. By explaining and clarifying the role of LCN2 in these disorders, we aim to promote research in developing novel diagnostic and treatment strategies to reduce the burden of pancreatic diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)419-424
Number of pages6
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 IAP and EPC


  • Lipocalin-2
  • Neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin
  • Obesity
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Pancreatitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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