Mechanisms of cholangiocyte responses to injury. Academic Article uri icon


  • Cholangiocytes, epithelial cells that line the biliary epithelium, are the primary target cells for cholangiopathies including primary sclerosing cholangitis and primary biliary cholangitis. Quiescent cholangiocytes respond to biliary damage and acquire an activated neuroendocrine phenotype to maintain the homeostasis of the liver. The typical response of cholangiocytes is proliferation leading to bile duct hyperplasia, which is a characteristic of cholestatic liver diseases. Current studies have identified various signaling pathways that are associated with cholangiocyte proliferation/loss and liver fibrosis in cholangiopathies using human samples and rodent models. Although recent studies have demonstrated that extracellular vesicles and microRNAs could be mediators that regulate these messenger/receptor axes, further studies are required to confirm their roles. This review summarizes current studies of biliary response and cholangiocyte proliferation during cholestatic liver injury with particular emphasis on the secretin/secretin receptor axis. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Cholangiocytes in Health and Diseaseedited by Jesus Banales, Marco Marzioni, Nicholas LaRusso and Peter Jansen.

published proceedings

  • Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Sato, K., Meng, F., Giang, T., Glaser, S., & Alpini, G.

citation count

  • 50

complete list of authors

  • Sato, Keisaku||Meng, Fanyin||Giang, Thao||Glaser, Shannon||Alpini, Gianfranco

publication date

  • January 2018