Partial hepatectomy and bile duct ligation in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss): histologic, immunohistochemical and enzyme histochemical characterization of hepatic regeneration and biliary hyperplasia.
Hepatic regeneration following partial hepatectomy (PH) and biliary hyperplasia subsequent to bile duct ligation (BDL) were characterized in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) by light microscopy using routine and special (immunohistochemical and enzyme histochemical) stains. Both PH and BDL involved initial hypertrophy and hyperplasia of bile preductular epithelial cells (BPDECs). BPDECs are small oval cells that form junctional complexes with hepatocytes and bile ductular cells and are commonly found in hepatic tubules of teleost liver. Proliferating BPDECs transitioned through intermediate cell types before final differentiation into large basophilic hepatocytes (following PH) or biliary epithelial cells (after BDL). Normal BPDECs and hepatocytes were both negative for cytokeratin intermediate filaments in control fish when screened with the monoclonal antibody AE1/AE3. In contrast, hyperplastic BPDECs and their progeny (intermediate cells, immature hepatocytes, ductal epithelial cells) were all strongly cytokeratin positive. Cytokeratin expression was transient in newly differentiated hepatocytes (expression decreased as hepatocytes acquired characteristics consistent with full differentiation) but was permanent in biliary epithelial cells (expression was very strong in large mature ducts). BPDECs, intermediate cells, and immature ductal cells were also strongly positive for alkaline phosphatase following BDL. Chronology of histologic events and cytokeratin and enzyme expression all support the hypothesis that BPDECs possess the capacity to differentiate into either hepatocytes or biliary epithelial cells. Thus, BPDECs may be the teleost equivalent of a bipolar hepatic stem cell in mammals.
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