chapter  Chapter 20
8 Pages

Apoptosis of Biliary Epithelial Cells

WithNatalie J. Török, Gregory J. Gores

Apoptosis, or programmed cell death is a regulated event, which plays a major role in maintaining homeostasis in the biliary epithelium. The disruption of normal apoptotic pathways can result in different disease states: (1) increases in apoptosis result in decreasing number of biliary epithelial cells, as observed in different cholestatic conditions; and (2) a decrease and/or dysregulation of apoptosis can lead to development of cholangiocarcinoma. This chapter reviews briefly the current knowledge on different apoptotic pathways in the biliary epithelium, the alteration of these pathways during different disease processes, and finally summarizes current concepts on dysregulation of apoptosis and biliary carcinogenesis.