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עמוד בית
Thu, 30.11.23

Original Articles

IMAJ | volume 12

Journal 2, February 2010
pages: 82-86

Vitamin A Deficiency Associated with Enhanced Proliferation of Bile Duct Epithelial Cells in the Rat

    Summary

    Background: Vitamin A and its derivative retinoic acid regulate various aspects of cell behavior as growth, differentiation, and proliferation. Retinoic acid derivatives have been suggested to play a role in processes such as hepatic regeneration and fibrosis.

    Objectives: To evaluate the influence of vitamin A on rat liver epithelial cell proliferation.

    Methods: We performed common bile duct ligation in rats that had been subjected to differing vitamin A diets and compared their livers to control rats. Proliferation, apoptosis, and retinoic acid receptors were evaluated by histology and immunohistochemistry in bile duct cells and hepatocytes.

    Results: Vitamin A deficiency was found to be associated with enhanced proliferation of bile duct epithelial cells following CBD[1] ligation. The proliferation was manifested by increased numbers of ducts, by aberrant extended ductal morphology, and by elevated numbers of nuclei expressing the proliferation marker Ki67. The amount of vitamin A in the rat diet did not affect detectably ductal cell apoptosis. We observed up-regulated expression of the retinoid X receptor-alpha in the biliary epithelium of vitamin A-deficient rats that had undergone CBD ligation, but not in vitamin A-sufficient rats.

    Conclusions: We speculate that the mechanism underlying the ductal proliferation response involves differential expression of RXR[2]-alpha. Our observations suggest that deficiency of vitamin A may exacerbate cholestasis, due to excessive intrahepatic bile duct proliferation.



    [1] CBD = common bile duct

    [2] RXR = retinoid X receptor

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