Ultra-Structural Analysis of the Intrahepatic Bile Duct System
Much has been learned in the past few years concerning morphology and function of the intrahepatic biliary epithelium. Immunohistochemistry, together with ultra-structural studies has allowed a better identification of the smallest branches of the biliary tree and of subcellular components (cytoskeleton, specializations of the cell membrane, specific receptors). The newly devised methods of isolation and in vitro studies have also enriched our knowledge of the functional properties of the biliary epithelium. Recently special attention has been paid to the expression of subcellular damage and evidence of apoptosis or necrosis in cholestatic diseases. However more information is needed concerning the mechanisms of cell loss in vanishing bile duct syndromes.