Primary biliary cirrhosis
Lewis Y antigen
Proliferating cell nuclear antigen
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract The initial injury in primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) is the destruction of portal bile ducts. Little information is available on apoptosis and cell proliferation in such bile ducts, so we used immunohistochemical techniques to locate molecules related to apoptosis [Fas antigen, Lewis Y antigen (BM1/JIMRO), and bcl-2 protein] and to cell proliferation (proliferating cell nuclear antigen, PCNA) in 21 patients with PBC. In addition, nick-end labelling was done to locate DNA fragmentation. The expression of these molecules in chronic nonsuppurative destructive cholangitis (CNSDC) was examined. Cell death and PCNA expression were both found in portal bile ducts affected by CNSDC in 7 of the 13 CNSDC patients examined. Fas antigen was found on the plasma membrane and rough endoplasmic reticulum of bile-duct cells with CNSDC in the frozen sections of all 6 patients with CNSDC out of the 9 patients inspected, and this antigen was found also in bile-duct cells without CNSDC in 2 of these 9 patients. It was not found in anatomically normal liver (from 2 patients with Gilbert's disease). The Lewis Y antigen was found in bile ducts with CNSDC and in proliferated ductules in all 16 patients examined. No bcl-2 protein was found in any bile-duct or ductule cells, but it was found in the cytoplasm of lymphocytes surrounding or invading CNSDC. DNA fragmentation was found in the nuclei of bile-duct cells with CNSDC by nick-end labelling. Our study indicated that Fas-mediated apoptosis might be involved in CNSDC, but that bcl-2 protein seems to participate less than Fas. Although the Lewis Y antigen was found in many bile ducts, the relationship between the antigen and apoptosis remains unknown because there was no evidence that this antigen mediates apoptosis.
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