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Open Access Regulators of Cholangiocyte Proliferation

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Cholangiocytes, a small population of cells within the normal liver, have been the focus of a significant amount of research over the past two decades because of their involvement in cholangiopathies such as primary sclerosing cholangitis and primary biliary cholangitis. This article summarizes landmark studies in the field of cholangiocyte physiology and aims to provide an updated review of biliary pathogenesis. The historical approach of rodent extrahepatic bile duct ligation and the relatively recent utilization of transgenic mice have led to significant discoveries in cholangiocyte pathophysiology. Cholangiocyte physiology is a complex system based on heterogeneity within the biliary tree and a number of signaling pathways that serve to regulate bile composition. Studies have expanded the list of neuropeptides, neurotransmitters, and hormones that have been shown to be key regulators of proliferation and biliary damage. The peptide histamine and hormones, such as melatonin and angiotensin, angiotensin, as well as numerous sex hormones, have been implicated in cholangiocyte proliferation during cholestasis. Numerous pathways promote cholangiocyte proliferation during cholestasis, and there is growing evidence to suggest that cholangiocyte proliferation may promote hepatic fibrosis. These pathways may represent significant therapeutic potential for a subset of cholestatic liver diseases that currently lack effective therapies.
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Keywords: Biliary epithelium; Cholangiopathies; Cholestasis; Liver damage

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Research, Central Texas Veterans Health Care System, Temple, TX, USA

Publication date: February 10, 2017

This article was made available online on July 12, 2016 as a Fast Track article with title: "Regulators of Cholangiocyte Proliferation".

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  • Gene Expression, The Journal of Liver Research will publish articles in all aspects of hepatology. Hepatology, as a research discipline, has seen unprecedented growth especially in the cellular and molecular mechanisms of hepatic health and disease, which continues to have a major impact on understanding liver development, stem cells, carcinogenesis, tissue engineering, injury, repair, regeneration, immunology, metabolism, fibrosis, and transplantation. Continued research and improved understanding in these areas will have a meaningful impact on liver disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. The existing journal Gene Expression has expanded its focus to become Gene Expression, The Journal of Liver Research to meet this growing demand. In its revised and expanded scope, the journal will publish high-impact original articles, reviews, short but complete articles, and special articles (editorials, commentaries, opinions) on all aspects of hepatology, making it a unique and invaluable resource for readers interested in this field. The expanded team, led by an Editor-in-Chief who is uniquely qualified and a renowned expert, along with a dynamic and functional editorial board, is determined to make this a premier journal in the field of hepatology.
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