Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) is a cholestatic liver disease characterized by the destruction of the small and medium bile ducts. Its pathogenesis is still unknown. Despite the genome wide association study findings, the therapies targeting the cytokines pathway, tested so far, have failed. The concept of the biliary epithelium as a key player of the PBC pathogenesis has emerged over the last few years. It is now well accepted that the biliary epithelial cells (BECs) actively participate to the genesis of the damage. The chronic stimulation of BECs via microbes and bile changes the cell phenotype toward an active state, which, across the production of proinflammatory mediators, can recruit, retain, and activate immune cells. The consequent immune system activation can in turn damage BECs. Thus, the crosstalk between both innate and adaptive immune cells and the biliary epithelium creates a paracrine loop responsible for the disease progression. In this review, we summarize the evidence provided in literature about the role of BECs and the immune system in the pathogenesis of PBC. We also dissect the relationship between the immune system and the BECs, focusing on the unanswered questions and the future potential directions of the translational research and the cellular therapy in this area.

Immune system and cholangiocytes: A puzzling affair in primary biliary cholangitis

Ronca V.;
2020-01-01

Abstract

Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) is a cholestatic liver disease characterized by the destruction of the small and medium bile ducts. Its pathogenesis is still unknown. Despite the genome wide association study findings, the therapies targeting the cytokines pathway, tested so far, have failed. The concept of the biliary epithelium as a key player of the PBC pathogenesis has emerged over the last few years. It is now well accepted that the biliary epithelial cells (BECs) actively participate to the genesis of the damage. The chronic stimulation of BECs via microbes and bile changes the cell phenotype toward an active state, which, across the production of proinflammatory mediators, can recruit, retain, and activate immune cells. The consequent immune system activation can in turn damage BECs. Thus, the crosstalk between both innate and adaptive immune cells and the biliary epithelium creates a paracrine loop responsible for the disease progression. In this review, we summarize the evidence provided in literature about the role of BECs and the immune system in the pathogenesis of PBC. We also dissect the relationship between the immune system and the BECs, focusing on the unanswered questions and the future potential directions of the translational research and the cellular therapy in this area.
2020
autoimmunity
biliary epithelial cells
primary biliary cholangitis
TLR
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11699/79845
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 19
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact