Primary biliary cirrhosis has a definite female preponderance. Increased estrogen levels have been found in patients with this disease; however no studies indicate the status of sex hormone steroid receptors in primary biliary cirrhosis patients. In this study the occurrence and distribution of estrogen receptors, progesterone receptors and androgen receptors in liver biopsy specimens from patients with primary biliary cirrhosis were examined and compared with these receptors in the normal liver. In addition, three heat-shock proteins associated with steroid receptors (90 kD, 70 kD and 27 kD) were examined. All of the receptor proteins were detected on immunocytochemical study using specific receptor antibodies; monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies were also used to detect the heat-shock proteins. Normal bile duct epithelial cells displayed low-to-moderate amount of estrogen receptors and abundant 90-kD, 70-kD and 27-kd heat-shock protein expression, whereas normal hepatocytes showed moderate estrogen receptor and 90-kD heat-shock protein and high 70-kD heat-shock protein expression. Expression of 70-kD heat-shock protein was due mainly to the constitutive form of this protein (hsc72). In patients with primary biliary cirrhosis, significant increases in estrogen receptor and 90-kD heat-shock protein content were seen in bile duct cells and in hepatocytes. Levels of 27-kD heat-shock protein were also increased in some of the primary biliary cirrhosis biopsy specimens. The expression of progesterone receptor and androgen receptor was very low in normal and primary biliary cirrhosis bile duct cells and hepatocytes. The high expression of estrogen receptor and associated heat-shock proteins in primary biliary cirrhosis patients indicates that estrogens and their receptors may play a role in this disease, a finding that may have therapeutic implications. (HEPATOLOGY 1993;18:1108-1114).
If you can't find a tool you're looking for, please click the link at the top of the page to "Go to old article view". Alternatively, view our Knowledge Base articles for additional help. Your feedback is important to us, so please let us know if you have comments or ideas for improvement.