In recurrent primary biliary cirrhosis after liver transplantation, biliary epithelial cells show increased expression of mitochondrial proteins.

Publication Type:

Journal Article

Source:

Virchows Archiv : an international journal of pathology (2015)

Abstract:

In biliary epithelial lesions in primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC), mitochondrial proteins associated with deregulated autophagy are abnormally expressed. We examined whether this could be used as a diagnostic marker for end-stage PBC and recurrent PBC after liver transplantation. We examined the expression of the mitochondrial protein pyruvate dehydrogenase complex-E2 component and cytochrome c oxidase, subunit I (CCO), the autophagy-related marker microtubule-associated protein-light chain 3 (LC3), and p62/sequestosome-1 and the senescence markers p16(Ink4a) and p21(WAF1/Cip1) in small bile ducts and bile ductules in explanted livers from patients with PBC (n = 20) in comparison with liver tissue from control patients (n = 21) and post-transplant samples including recurrent PBC and cellular rejection (n = 28). Intense granular expression of mitochondrial proteins was significantly more frequent in small bile ducts in explanted livers with PBC than in control livers (p < 0.05). Post-transplant samples comprised of three groups: group A (positive for mitochondrial proteins, n = 7), group B (positive for either autophagy-related or senescence markers but negative for mitochondrial proteins, n = 7), and group C (all negative, n = 14). All but one case of group A were clinically and histologically diagnosed as recurrent PBC. In contrast, all cases of group B were diagnosed as cellular rejection. This study suggests that the expression of mitochondrial proteins in small bile ducts may be a useful diagnostic marker for end-stage PBC and recurrent PBC after liver transplantation.