Control of cholangiocyte adaptive responses by visceral hormones and neuropeptides

Clin Rev Allergy Immunol. 2009 Feb;36(1):13-22. doi: 10.1007/s12016-008-8090-1.


Cholangiocytes, the epithelial cells lining the biliary tree, are the target cells in several liver diseases, termed cholangiopathies. Cholangiopathies are a challenge for clinicians and an enigma for scientists, as the pathogenetic mechanisms by which they develop, and the therapeutic tools for these diseases are still undefined. Several studies demonstrate that many visceral hormones, neuropeptides, and neurotransmitters modulate the adaptive changes of cholangiocytes to chronic cholestatic injury. The aim of this review is to present the recent findings that contributed to clarify the role of visceral hormones and neuropeptides in the regulation of the pathophysiology of cholestasis. These studies helped to shed light on some aspects of cholangiocyte pathophysiology, revealing novel perspectives for the clinical managements of cholangiopathies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / physiology
  • Biliary Tract / pathology
  • Biliary Tract / physiology*
  • Cholestasis / metabolism
  • Cholestasis / pathology*
  • Cholestasis / physiopathology*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Epithelial Cells / pathology
  • Epithelial Cells / physiology
  • Humans
  • Neuropeptides / physiology*
  • Peptide Hormones / physiology*


  • Neuropeptides
  • Peptide Hormones