Apoptosis of biliary epithelial cells in primary biliary cirrhosis and primary sclerosing cholangitis
ABSTRACT Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) is an autoimmune disease characterized by inflammatory destruction of small bile ducts. Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is a different, presumed autoimmune cholestatic liver disease where the bile ducts are also destroyed. In this study, apoptosis and portal triad inflammation in liver tissue from patients with PBC is examined and compared to that from patients with PSC and patients with normal liver.
Explanted liver tissue from patients with PBC and PSC and normal liver from patients with metastases to liver were examined. The liver samples were stained for apoptosis using the terminal deoxynucleotidyl triphosphate (TdT)-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate nick end labelling (TUNEL) assay. The biliary epithelial cells (BEC) were then scored on the basis of their TUNEL stain and the degree of periductal inflammation.
In PBC, apoptosis of BEC, as detected by the TUNEL assay, was significantly increased in the presence of inflammation. Regardless of the presence or absence of inflammation, the small bile ducts in PBC liver tissue exhibited greater evidence of apoptosis than did similar ducts from PSC or control livers.
These findings suggest that in PBC, unlike PSC, the apoptosis of BEC in PBC is secondary to the invasion of inflammatory cells.
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ABSTRACT: We evaluated the IGF1 system in cholangiocytes of primay biliary cirrhosis (PBC) patients and investigated the relationships with apoptosis. Biopsies of PBC patients (n=32) and normal subjects (n=5) were investigated by immunohistochemistry for expression in cholangiocytes of IGF1, IGF1-R, pAKT, terminal deoxynucleotide transferase end labeling (TUNEL), Bax (proapoptotic protein), and Bcl2 (antiapoptotic protein). Whereas normal cholangiocytes were almost negative, cholangiocytes of PBC patients showed strong IHC staining for IGF1, IGF1-R, and pAKT, which increases from stage I to stage IV, where >70% of cholangiocytes were positive. Bax/Bcl2 ratio reached the highest value (4.6) in PBC stage III when apoptosis is maximal (24% TUNEL positivity), whereas it declines in stage IV (1.4) when only 7.8% cholangiocytes were TUNEL positive. In PBC stages III and IV, expression of IGF1, IGF1-R, and pAKT in cholangiocytes was directly correlated with the antiapoptotic Bcl2 and inversely correlated with proapoptotic Bax, Bax/Bcl2 ratio, and TUNEL positivity. In conclusion, cholangiocytes of PBC patients showed a marked increase in IGF1, IGF1-R, and pAKT expression involving most cholangiocytes surviving in the terminal ductopenic stage. This was associated and correlated with a balance of pro- and antiapoptotic proteins favoring survival rather than apoptosis, suggesting a major role of IGF1 system in promoting cholangiocyte survival.Journal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry 05/2007; 55(4):327-34. DOI:10.1369/jhc.6R7125.2006 · 2.40 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Apoptosis is the predominant mechanism of liver cell death in autoimmune hepatitis, and interventions that can modulate this activity are emerging. The aim of this review was to describe the apoptotic mechanisms, possible aberrations, and opportunities for intervention in autoimmune hepatitis. Studies cited in PubMed from 1972 to 2014 for autoimmune hepatitis, apoptosis in liver disease, apoptosis mechanisms, and apoptosis treatment were examined. Apoptosis is overactive in autoimmune hepatitis, and the principal pathway of cell death is receptor mediated. Surface death receptors are activated by extrinsic factors including liver-infiltrating cytotoxic T cells and the cytokine milieu. The executioner caspases 3 and 7 cleave nuclear deoxyribonucleic acid, and the release of apoptotic bodies can stimulate inflammatory, immune, and fibrotic responses. Changes in mitochondrial membrane permeability can be initiated by caspase 8, and an intrinsic pathway of apoptosis can complement the extrinsic pathway. Defects in the apoptosis of activated effector cells can prolong their survival and sustain the immune response. Caspase inhibitors have been used in diverse experimental and human diseases to retard apoptosis. Oligonucleotides that inhibit the signaling of toll-like receptors can limit the presentation of auto-antigens, and inhibitors of apoptosis that extend the survival of effector cells can be blocked by antisense oligonucleotides. Mechanisms that enhance the clearance of apoptotic bodies and affect key signaling pathways are also feasible. Interventions that influence the survival of liver and effector cells by altering their apoptosis are candidates for study in autoimmune hepatitis.Digestive Diseases and Sciences 07/2014; 59(12). DOI:10.1007/s10620-014-3284-2 · 2.55 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Human cholangiocytes are continuously exposed to millimolar levels of hydrophobic bile salt monomers. We recently hypothesized that an apical biliary HCO3- umbrella might prevent the protonation of biliary glycine-conjugated bile salts and uncontrolled cell entry of the corresponding bile acids, and that defects in this biliary HCO3- umbrella might predispose to chronic cholangiopathies. Here, we tested in vitro whether human cholangiocyte integrity in the presence of millimolar bile salt monomers is dependent on (1) pH, (2) adequate expression of the key HCO3- exporter, anion exchanger 2 (AE2), and (3) an intact cholangiocyte glycocalyx. To address these questions, human immortalized cholangiocytes and cholangiocarcinoma cells were exposed to chenodeoxycholate and its glycine/taurine conjugates at different pH levels. Bile acid uptake was determined radiochemically. Cell viability and apoptosis were measured enzymatically. AE2 was knocked down by lentiviral short hairpin RNA. A cholangiocyte glycocalyx was identified by electron microscopy, was enzymatically desialylated, and sialylation was quantified by flow cytometry. We found that bile acid uptake and toxicity in human immortalized cholangiocytes and cholangiocarcinoma cell lines in vitro were pH and AE2 dependent, with the highest rates at low pH and when AE2 expression was defective. An apical glycocalyx was identified on cholangiocytes in vitro by electron microscopic techniques. Desialylation of this protective layer increased cholangiocellular vulnerability in a pH-dependent manner. CONCLUSION: A biliary HCO3- umbrella protects human cholangiocytes against damage by bile acid monomers. An intact glycocalyx and adequate AE2 expression are crucial in this process. Defects of the biliary HCO3- umbrella may lead to the development of chronic cholangiopathies.Hepatology 01/2012; 55(1):173-83. DOI:10.1002/hep.24691 · 11.19 Impact Factor