The renewal areas of the common bile duct epithelium in the rat


  • A portion of a thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at Columbia University, '60. This investigation was carried out during the tenure of a Predoctoral Fellowship from the National Cancer Institute, United States Public Health Service and was supported, in part, by Grant HE-03252-07 from the National Heart Institute, U.S.P.H.S


The common bile duct epithelium has been studied in common bile duct-ligated and sham-operated rats treated with colchicine, and numerous colchicinemitoses have been observed largely localized in the biliary or tubular “glands.” This finding suggests that the “glands” serve as the centers of cell division, i.e., the “renewal areas,” within the duct epithelium. Evidence has also been found that the duct epithelial cells are shed from the surface (luminal) epithelium into the lumen.

In these cytological features, the common bile duct epithelium resembles the small intestinal epithelium, and this suggests the possibility that the pattern of cell renewal and replacement in the common bile duct epithelium is similar to that in the small intestinal epithelium, i.e., the “gland” cells constantly divide and replace the cells which are lost from the surface epithelium.