875 research outputs found

    Cholangiocytes: Cell transplantation

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    Background:Due to significant limitations to the access to orthotropic liver transplantation, cell therapies forliver diseases have gained large interest worldwide.Scope of review:To revise current literature dealing with cell therapy for liver diseases. We discussed the ad-vantages and pitfalls of the different cell sources tested so far in clinical trials and the rationale underlying thepotential benefits of transplantation of human biliary tree stem cells (hBTSCs).Major conclusions:Transplantation of adult hepatocytes showed transient benefits but requires immune-sup-pression that is a major pitfall in patients with advanced liver diseases. Mesenchymal stem cells and hemato-poietic stem cells transplanted into patients with liver diseases are not able to replace resident hepatocytes butrather they target autoimmune or inflammatory processes into the liver. Stem cells isolated from fetal or adultliver have been recently proposed as alternative cell sources for advanced liver cirrhosis and metabolic liverdisease. We demonstrated the presence of multipotent cells expressing a variety of endodermal stem cell markersin (peri)-biliary glands of bile ducts in fetal or adult human tissues, and in crypts of gallbladder epithelium. Inthefirst cirrhotic patients treated in our center with biliary tree stem cell therapy, we registered no adverse eventbut significant benefits.General significance:The biliary tree stem cell could represent the ideal cell source for the cell therapy of liverdiseases. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Cholangiocytes in Health and Diseaseedited by JesusBanales, Marco Marzioni, Nicholas LaRusso and Peter Jansen

    Recent advances on the mechanisms regulating cholangiocyte proliferation and the significance of the neuroendocrine regulation of cholangiocyte pathophysiology

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    Cholangiocytes are epithelial cells lining the biliary epithelium. Cholangiocytes play several key roles in the modification of ductal bile and are also the target cells in chronic cholestatic liver diseases (i.e., cholangiopathies) such as PSC, PBC, polycystic liver disease (PCLD) and cholangiocarcinoma (CCA). During these pathologies, cholangiocytes (which in normal condition are in a quiescent state) begin to proliferate acquiring phenotypes of neuroendocrine cells, and start secreting different cytokines, growth factors, neuropeptides, and hormones to modulate cholangiocytes proliferation and interaction with the surrounding environment, trying to reestablish the balance between proliferation/loss of cholangiocytes for the maintenance of biliary homeostasis. The purpose of this review is to summarize the recent findings on the mechanisms regulating cholangiocyte proliferation and the significance of the neuroendocrine regulation of cholangiocyte pathophysiology. To clarify the mechanisms of action of these factors we will provide new potential strategies for the management of chronic liver diseases

    Contribution of resident stem cells to liver and biliary tree regeneration in human diseases

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    Two distinct stem/progenitor cell populations of biliary origin have been identified in the adult liver and biliary tree. Hepatic Stem/progenitor Cells (HpSCs) are bipotent progenitor cells located within the canals of Hering and can be differentiated into mature hepatocytes and cholangiocytes; Biliary Tree Stem/progenitor Cells (BTSCs) are multipotent stem cells located within the peribiliary glands of large intrahepatic and extrahepatic bile ducts and able to differentiate into hepatic and pancreatic lineages. HpSCs and BTSCs are endowed in a specialized niche constituted by supporting cells and extracellular matrix compounds. The actual contribution of these stem cell niches to liver and biliary tree homeostatic regeneration is marginal; this is due to the high replicative capabilities and plasticity of mature parenchymal cells (i.e., hepatocytes and cholangiocytes). However, the study of human liver and biliary diseases disclosed how these stem cell niches are involved in the regenerative response after extensive and/or chronic injuries, with the activation of specific signaling pathways. The present review summarizes the contribution of stem/progenitor cell niches in human liver diseases, underlining mechanisms of activation and clinical implications, including fibrogenesis and disease progression

    Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma: review and update

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    Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) is a heterogeneous group of malignancies that could develop at any level from the biliary tree. CCA is currently classified into intrahepatic (iCCA), perihilar and distal on the basis of its anatomical location. Of note, these three CCA subtypes have common features but also important inter-tumor and intra-tumor differences that can affect the pathogenesis and outcome. A unique feature of iCCA is that it recognizes as origin tissues, the hepatic parenchyma or large intrahepatic and extrahepatic bile ducts, which are furnished by two distinct stem cell niches, the canals of Hering and the peribiliary glands, respectively. The complexity of iCCA pathogenesis highlights the need of a multidisciplinary, translational and systemic approach to this malignancy. This review will focus on the advances of iCCA epidemiology, histo-morphology, risk factors, molecular pathogenesis, revealing the existence of multiple subsets of iCCA

    The role of autophagy in liver epithelial cells and its Impact on systemic homeostasis

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    Autophagy plays a role in several physiological and pathological processes as it controls the turnover rate of cellular components and influences cellular homeostasis. The liver plays a central role in controlling organisms’ metabolism, regulating glucose storage, plasma proteins and bile synthesis and the removal of toxic substances. Liver functions are particularly sensitive to autophagy modulation. In this review we summarize studies investigating how autophagy influences the hepatic metabolism, focusing on fat accumulation and lipids turnover. We also describe how autophagy affects bile production and the scavenger function within the complex homeostasis of the liver. We underline the role of hepatic autophagy in counteracting the metabolic syndrome and the associated cardiovascular risk. Finally, we highlight recent reports demonstrating how the autophagy occurring within the liver may affect skeletal muscle homeostasis as well as different extrahepatic solid tumors, such as melanoma

    Liquid Biopsy in Rare Cancers: Lessons from Hemangiopericytoma

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    Hemangiopericytoma (HPT) is a rare mesenchymal tumor of fibroblastic type and for its rarity is poorly studied. The most common sites of metastatic disease in patients with intracranial HPT are the bone, liver, and lung, suggestive for an hematogenous dissemination; for this reason, we investigated, for the first time, the presence of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in hemangiopericytoma patient by CellSearch® and SceenCell® devices. Peripheral blood samples were drawn and processed by CellSearch, an EpCAM-dependent device, and ScreenCell®, a device size based. We found nontypical CTCs by CellSearch system and the immunofluorescence analysis performed on CTCs isolate by ScreenCell demonstrated the presence of single CTCs and CTC clusters. The molecular characterization of single CTCs and CTC clusters, using antibodies directed against EpCAM, CD34, cytokeratins (8, 18, and 19), and CD45, showed a great heterogeneity in CTC clusters. We believe that the present study may open a new scenario in the rare tumors: the introduction of the liquid biopsy and the molecular characterization of circulating tumor cells could lead to personalized targeted treatments and also for rare tumors

    Abnormal salivary total and oligomeric alpha-synuclein in Parkinson's disease

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    In Parkinson’s disease (PD), alpha-synuclein (a-syn) can be detected in biological fluids including saliva. Although previous studies found reduced a-syn total (a-syntotal) concentration in saliva of PD patients, no studies have previously examined salivary a-syn oligomers (a-synolig) concentrations or assessed the correlation between salivary a-syntotal, a-synolig and clinical features in a large cohort of PD patients. Is well known that a-synolig exerts a crucial neurotoxic effect in PD. We collected salivary samples from 60 PD patients and 40 age- and sex-comparable healthy subjects. PD was diagnosed according to the United Kingdom Brain Bank Criteria. Samples of saliva were analyzed by specific anti-a-syn and anti-oligomeric a-syn ELISA kits. A complete clinical evaluation of each patient was performed using MDS-Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale, Beck Depression Inventory, Montreal Cognitive Assessment and Frontal Assessment Battery. Salivary a-syntotal was lower, whereas a-synolig was higher in PD patients than healthy subjects. The a-synolig/a-syntotal ratio was also higher in patients than in healthy subjects. Salivary a-syntotal concentration negatively correlated with that of a-synolig and correlated with several patients’ clinical features. In PD, decreased salivary concentration of a-syntotal may reflect the reduction of a-syn monomers (a-synmon), as well as the formation of insoluble intracellular inclusions and soluble oligomers. The combined detection of a-syntotal and a-synolig in the saliva might help the early diagnosis of P

    The possible prognostic role of histone deacetylase and transforming growth factor β/Smad signaling in high grade gliomas treated by radio-chemotherapy: a preliminary immunohistochemical study

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    Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common and aggressive tumor of the central nervous system. Unfortunately, patients affected by this disease have a very poor prognosis, due to high level of invasiveness and resistance to standard therapies. Although the molecular profile of GBM has been extensively investigated, the events responsible for its pathogenesis and progression remain largely unknown. Histone Deacetylases (HDAC) dependent epigenetic modifications and transforming growth factor (TGF)-β/Smad pathway seem to play an important role in GBM tumorigenesis, resistance to common therapies and poor clinical outcome. The aim of this study was to evaluate the involvement and the possible interaction between these two molecular cascades in the pathogenesis and prognosis of GBM. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) was performed on microdissected GBM samples, collected from 14 patients (6 men and 8 women) ranging in age from 43 to 74 years. The patients were previously divided, on the basis of their overall survival (OS), into two groups: short and long OS. Patients with poor prognosis showed hyperexpression of HDAC4 and HDAC6, an activation of the TGF-β/Smad pathway, with high levels of IL-13, Smad2, PDGF and MMP3 expression, compared to the long survivors. The short OS group exhibits a decrease in Smad 7 expression and also low levels of p21 immunostaining, which represents a common target of the two pathways. The IHC data was confirmed by quantitative analysis and Immunoblotting. Our preliminary results suggest that both HDAC4 and HDAC6 together with the TGF-β/Smad pathway may be involved in progression of GBM and this cross talking could be a useful prognostic marker in this deadly disease

    The Hepatic Microcirculation in Experimental Cirrhosis a Scanning Electron Microscopy Study of Microcorrosion Casts

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    The experimental model of liver cirrhosis induced by intragastric administration of CCl4 reproduces not only the histological picture of the postnecrotic cirrhosis but also its pathophysiological features. Corrosion casts of livers affected by CCl4-induced cirrhosis show the loss of the lobular pattern. Once the cirrhosis has completely developed, the whole microvascular bed appears to be composed of groups of sinusoid nodules of diameters varying between 0.3 and 1.5 mm.. Pre- and post-sinusoidal vessels and anastomoses between the former and the latter are mainly located at the perinodular spaces. This microvascular situation modifies the normal perfusion gradient within the parenchyma. Nevertheless, it can allow a still viable function
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