The transcription factor pancreatic and duodenal homeobox factor 1 (PDX-1) is expressed in pancreatic progenitor cells. In exocrine pancreas, PDX-1 is down-regulated during late development, while re-up-regulation of PDX-1 has been reported in pancreatic cancer and pancreatitis. To determine whether sustained expression of PDX-1 could affect pancreas development, PDX-1 was constitutively expressed in all pancreatic lineages by transgenic approaches. The transgenic pancreas was markedly small with the replacement of acinar cells by duct-like structures, accompanied by activated Stat3. Genetic ablation of Stat3 in the transgenic pancreas profoundly suppressed the metaplastic phenotype. These results provide a mechanism of pancreatic metaplasia by which persistent PDX-1 expression cell-autonomously induces acinar-to-ductal transition through Stat3 activation.