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Involvement of Cholangiocyte Proliferation in Biliary Fibrosis

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Involvement of Cholangiocyte Proliferation in Biliary Fibrosis

Sally Priester et al. World J Gastrointest Pathophysiol.

Abstract

Cholangiocytes are the epithelial cells that line the biliary tree. In the adult liver, they are a mitotically dormant cell population, unless ductular reaction is triggered by injury. The ability of cholangiocytes to proliferate is important in many different human pathological liver conditions that target this cell type, which are termed cholangiopathies (i.e. primary biliary cirrhosis, primary sclerosing cholangitis and biliary atresia). In our article, we provide background information on the morphological and functional heterogeneity of cholangiocytes, summarize what is currently known about their proliferative processes, and briefly describe the diseases that target these cells. In addition, we address recent findings that suggest cholangiocyte involvement in epithelial-to-mesenchymal transformation and liver fibrosis, and propose directions for future studies.

Keywords: Biliary epithelium; Cholangiopathies; Cholestasis; Integrins; Liver fibrosis; Proliferation.

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