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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Appearance of hepatocytelike cells in the interlobular bile ducts of human liver in various liver disease states.

Among 1,098 liver biopsy specimens obtained from patients with various liver diseases characterized by liver injury, 58 epithelial cells whose cytoplasms stained positively by the periodic acid-Schiff stain (digested with diastase) were recognized in the interlobular bile ducts of 37 specimens from 36 patients. Light microscopic study revealed that the cytoplasms of these cells were clear or stained weakly eosinophilic on hematoxylin and eosin staining and that the cell limits were distinct. From their reaction with periodic acid-Schiff stain and from electron microscopic observation it was clear that these cells contained an abundance of glycogen and were located among the normal bile duct cells surrounded by basement membrane. On electron microscopy, these cells had microvilli of equal sizes on their luminal surfaces and many irregularly sized microvilluslike cell membrane projections on their basal surfaces. They rested on basement membrane with basal spaces. These cells varied in size from 25.0 to 452.2 microns 2 (mean = 212.2 microns 2). In contrast, the sizes of normal bile duct cells and hepatocytes ranged from 20.0 to 69.3 microns 2 (mean = 34.2 microns 2) and from 113.0 to 860.3 microns 2 (mean = 447.0 microns 2), respectively. Immunohistochemical study with antiserum to cytokeratin 19, albumin and alpha 1-antitrypsin on serially cut frozen sections showed that some of these cells expressed markers of bile duct cells and hepatocytes. Some cells expressed only the markers of hepatocytes. Computer graphic three-dimensional reconstruction clearly demonstrated that these cells were located sparsely (but sometimes in groups) among normal interlobular bile duct cells, without any connection to the surrounding parenchymal hepatocytes.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)[1]


  1. Appearance of hepatocytelike cells in the interlobular bile ducts of human liver in various liver disease states. Nomoto, M., Uchikosi, Y., Kajikazawa, N., Tanaka, Y., Asakura, H. Hepatology (1992) [Pubmed]
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