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Differential findings for CD14-positive hepatic monocytes/macrophages in primary biliary cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis C and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis

Authors

  • Katherine L. Leicester,

    1. School of Medicine and Pharmacology, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia,
    2. Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA,
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  • John K. Olynyk,

    1. School of Medicine and Pharmacology, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia,
    2. Department of Gastroenterology, Fremantle Hospital, Fremantle, Australia,
    3. The Western Australian Institute of Medical Research, Nedlands, Australia,
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  • Elizabeth M. Brunt,

    1. Department of Pathology, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA,
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  • Robert S. Britton,

    1. Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA,
    2. Department of Internal Medicine, and Saint Louis University Liver Center, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA
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  • Bruce R. Bacon

    1. Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA,
    2. Department of Internal Medicine, and Saint Louis University Liver Center, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA
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Bruce R. Bacon, MD, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, 3635 Vista Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.
Tel: +314 577 8764
Fax: +314 577 8125
e-mail: baconbr@slu.edu

Abstract

Abstract: Background and aims: Endotoxin-responsive monocytes/macrophages (CD14-positive) are potential sources of profibrogenic factors. The aims of this study were to determine (1) whether hepatic CD14-positive cells are present in various forms of chronic liver disease, and (2) the relationship between CD14-positive cells, myofibroblasts, and fibrosis in these diseases.

Methods: Liver specimens from control subjects (n=12) and those with primary biliary cirrhosis (n=18), chronic hepatitis C (n=13), or nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (n=13) were immunostained for CD14, CD68, and α-smooth muscle actin (SMA) and the number of cells expressing these antigens was determined. Fibrosis and inflammation were also assessed.

Results: The total number of hepatic CD68-positive cells was similar in diseased and control livers. The number of CD14-positive cells was increased in advanced fibrosis in primary biliary cirrhosis and hepatitis C but not in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. The number of CD14-positive cells was also increased in hepatitis C specimens with high inflammatory activity. CD14-positive cells were often associated with α-SMA-positive myofibroblasts in fibrous septa.

Conclusions: The number of hepatic CD14-positive cells is increased in advanced fibrosis in subjects with primary biliary cirrhosis and hepatitis C but not in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. In primary biliary cirrhosis and hepatitis C, CD14-positive macrophages are found in close proximity to fibrous septa and myofibroblasts. In hepatitis C, an increased number of CD14-positive cells are associated with high inflammatory activity.

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