Cholangiocyte biology

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Purpose of reviewCholangiocytes are increasingly recognized as biologically important epithelia because of the diverse array of cellular processes in which they participate. Collectively, these processes define normal function and, when disturbed, account for abnormalities that cause disease. Advances in animal models and sophisticated technology in imaging and gene silencing have led to substantial progress in defining the roles that cholangiocytes play in signaling, transport of water, ions and solutes, and alterations that result in cholestasis. The pace of advances in technology justifies a yearly summary to identify trends, and inform the readership of the most significant developments in cholangiocyte biology.Recent findingsThe main areas of recent progress include insights into the molecular mechanisms of bile secretion and the development of new experimental models and technologies. Major advances have also included the identification of novel roles for receptors and better understanding of mechanistic pathways and biologic processes.SummaryUnderstanding the key mechanistic and biologic processes in cholangiocytes is required to generate hypotheses and therapies relevant to disease. This compendium of current activities in cholangiocyte biology may promote collegial sharing and exchange of novel concepts, ideas, reagents and probes, thereby promoting positive advances in the field.

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