Under chronic or severe liver injury, liver progenitor cells (LPCs) of biliary origin are known to expand and contribute to the regeneration of hepatocytes and cholangiocytes. This regeneration process is called ductular reaction (DR), which is accompanied by dynamic remodeling of biliary tissue. Although the DR shows apparently distinct mode of biliary extension depending on the type of liver injury, the key regulatory mechanism remains poorly understood. Here, we show that Lutheran (Lu)/Basal cell adhesion molecule (BCAM) regulates the morphogenesis of DR depending on liver disease models. Lu+ and Lu- 55 biliary cells isolated from injured liver exhibit opposite phenotypes in cell motility and duct formation capacities in vitro. By overexpression of Lu, Lu- biliary cells acquire the phenotype of Lu+ 57 biliary cells. Lu-deficient mice showed severe defects in DR. Our findings reveal a critical role of Lu in the control of phenotypic heterogeneity of DR in distinct liver disease models.
- Ductular reaction
- Integrin β1
- Oval cell
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)