In a review published in Nature Reviews Gastroenterology and Hepatology this month (see below), Jesus Banales et al., provides an excellent and comprehensive overview of cholangiocyte pathobiology as relates to the development of biliary diseases like PSC. Initially, the authors emphasize on the normal function of cholangiocytes, the cells that line the bile ducts inside and outside the liver. Subsequently, the review focuses on the role of cholangiocytes in biliary development, inflammation, immunology and fibrosis.
It is accepted that cholangiocytes are critical in hepatic health and disease although they represent only about 5% of the liver cells. They are the target cells in PSC and other cholangiopathies. Over the past two decades, we have witnessed a significant growth of the knowledge on cholangiocyte biology as this information is well captured in this review. Yet, elucidating further the ecosystem of the cholangiocytes will help us to improve our understanding of PSC.
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