To investigate the role of osteopontin (OPN) in the formation of hepatolith, we have immunohistochemically studied the involvement of OPN in hepatolithiasis in the intrahepatic bile ducts and the intramural and extramural glands, and in stones. In our hospital, 17 hepatic resections for hepatolithiasis were carried out from June 2006 to October 2009. Immunohistochemistry was performed on 17 liver specimens with hepatolith and on 24 control liver specimens without hepatolith. We compared the osetopontin expression in the epithelia of the intrahepatic bile ducts and peribiliary glands or periglandular macrophages. Staining for OPN was positive in the cytoplasm of the epithelial cells of stone-containing intrahepatic bile ducts and the intramural and extramural glands, and in stones. But there were no significant differences between the hepatolithiasis group and the control group for the OPN immunoreactivity of the luminal surface of the epithelial cells of the intrahepatic bile ducts and intramural and extramural glands. The stone-containing intrahepatic bile ducts were infiltrated by macrophages that showed intense staining for OPN. The core and matrix of the stones showed OPN immunoreactivity. The degree of OPN from the cytoplasm of the epithelia of the intrahepatic bile ducts and peribiliary glands or periglandular macrophages was different between hepatolithiasis and control groups. Our result suggests that the OPN from the intrahepatic bile ducts and peribiliary glands plays a role in the formation of intrahepatic stone.
Keywords: Hepatolithiasis; Immunohistochemistry; Intrahepatic bile duct; Osteopontin.
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