MUC5AC and MUC5B expression in canine gallbladder mucocele epithelial cells

J Vet Med Sci. 2023 Dec 6;85(12):1269-1276. doi: 10.1292/jvms.23-0174. Epub 2023 Oct 27.


Gallbladder mucocele (GBM) is one of the most common gallbladder diseases in dogs. Its pathogenesis has not yet been clarified, but excessive accumulation of a secretory gel-forming mucin, MUC5AC in the gallbladder has been reported. This study aimed to ascertain if MUC5AC overproduction resulted in mucus accumulation in the gallbladder during GBM development. Eleven dogs undergoing cholecystectomy who were pathologically diagnosed with GBM were included, and the expression level of mucins, particularly MUC5AC and MUC5B, in their gallbladder epithelial cells was compared with those in normal gallbladder epithelial cells. On reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction screening, there was a significant difference (P<0.05) in the mRNA expression level of MUC1, but not of other mucins including MUC5AC and MUC5B, between mucocele and normal gallbladder epithelial cells. Protein expression levels were also evaluated for MUC5AC and MUC5B using immunohistochemistry. There was little immunoreactivity for MUC5AC, whereas MUC5B showed definitive staining in gallbladder epithelial cells. There was no difference in MUC5AC and MUC5B protein expression levels between mucocele and normal gallbladder epithelial cells. These data suggest that excessive production of mucin, especially MUC5AC and MUC5B, does not occur in canine GBM, and that abnormal mucus excretion, rather than excessive mucus production, may be the cause of GBM development.

Keywords: MUC5AC; MUC5B; gallbladder mucocele; mucin.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dog Diseases* / metabolism
  • Dogs
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism
  • Gallbladder Diseases* / veterinary
  • Mucocele* / metabolism
  • Mucocele* / veterinary