Sclerosing cholangitis in baboons (Papio spp) resembling primary sclerosing cholangitis of humans.
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Primary sclerosing cholangitis is a chronic and progressive cholestatic liver disease that has been extensively documented in the human literature. Although it shares many features in common with chronic lymphocytic cholangitis in cats, primary sclerosing cholangitis has never been reported in a nonhuman primate. Primary sclerosing cholangitis is characterized by the presence of intrahepatic and/or extrahepatic inflammation and concentric fibrosis of bile ducts, eventually leading to cirrhosis and hepatic failure. The pathogenesis and cause remain unknown, but the disease likely involves a multifactorial mechanism with genetic- and immune-mediated components. The authors report 2 cases that histologically resemble the condition in humans; they consist of 2 adult male baboons with a clinical history of chronic elevated liver enzymes. In both cases, the liver was histologically characterized by thick bands of fibrosis and mild lymphoplasmacytic periportal cholangiohepatitis with concentric periductal fibrosis, resulting in atrophy and loss of bile ducts. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed positivity of hepatocytes to cytokeratin 7. Masson stain demonstrated marked biliary fibrosis. This is the first report that resembles sclerosing cholangitis in a nonhuman primate, and it suggests that the baboon may provide a useful animal model for this condition in humans.