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, 280 (24), 22986-92

Portal Fibroblasts Regulate the Proliferation of Bile Duct Epithelia via Expression of NTPDase2


Portal Fibroblasts Regulate the Proliferation of Bile Duct Epithelia via Expression of NTPDase2

M Nauman Jhandier et al. J Biol Chem.


Bile duct epithelia are the target of a number of "cholangiopathies" characterized by disordered bile ductular proliferation. Although mechanisms for bile ductular proliferation are unknown, recent evidence suggests that extracellular nucleotides regulate cell proliferation via activation of P2Y receptors. Portal fibroblasts may regulate bile duct epithelial P2Y receptors via expression of the ecto-nucleotidase NTPDase2. Thus, we tested the hypothesis that portal fibroblasts regulate bile duct epithelial proliferation via expression of NTPDase2. We generated a novel co-culture model of Mz-ChA-1 human cholangiocarcinoma cells and primary portal fibroblasts. Cell proliferation was measured by bromodeoxyuridine uptake. NTPDase2 expression was assessed by immunofluorescence and quantitative real-time reverse transcription PCR. NTPDase2 expression in portal fibroblasts was blocked using short interfering RNA. NTPDase2 overexpression in portal myofibroblasts isolated from bile duct-ligated rats was achieved by cDNA transfection. Co-culture of Mz-ChA-1 cells with portal fibroblasts decreased their proliferation to 26% of control. Similar decreases in Mz-ChA-1 proliferation were induced by the soluble ecto-nucleotidase apyrase and the P2 receptor inhibitor suramin. The proliferation of Mz-ChA-1 cells returned to baseline when NTPDase2 expression in portal fibroblasts was inhibited using NTPDase2-specific short interfering RNA. Untransfected portal myofibroblasts lacking NTPDase2 had no effect on Mz-ChA-1 proliferation, yet portal myofibroblasts transfected with NTPDase2 cDNA inhibited Mz-ChA-1 proliferation. We conclude that portal fibroblasts inhibit bile ductular proliferation via expression of NTPDase2 and blockade of P2Y activation. Loss of NTPDase2 may mediate the bile ductular proliferation typical of obstructive cholestasis. This novel cross-talk signaling pathway may mediate pathologic alterations in bile ductular proliferation in other cholangiopathic conditions.

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