MicroRNAs and benign biliary tract diseases

Sergio A. Gradilone, Steven P. O'Hara, Tetyana V. Masyuk, Maria Jose Lorenzo Pisarello, Nicholas F. Larusso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Cholangiocytes, the epithelial cells lining the biliary tree, represent only a small portion of the total liver cell population (3-5%), but they are responsible for the secretion of up to 40% of total daily bile volume. In addition, cholangiocytes are the target of a diverse group of liver diseases affecting the biliary tract, the cholangiopathies; for most of these conditions, the pathological mechanisms are unclear. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, noncoding RNAs that posttranscriptionally regulate gene expression. Thus, it is not surprising that altered miRNA profiles underlie the dysregulation of several proteins involved in the pathobiology of the cholangiopathies, as well as showing promise as diagnostic and prognostic tools. Here the authors review recent work relevant to the role of miRNAs in the etiopathogenesis of several of the cholangiopathies (i.e., fibroinflammatory cholangiopathies and polycystic liver diseases), discuss their value as prognostic and diagnostic tools, and provide suggestions for further research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-35
Number of pages10
JournalSeminars in Liver Disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc.


  • biliary atresia
  • cholangiocarcinoma
  • cholangiocytes
  • cholangiopathies
  • microRNAs
  • polycystic liver disease
  • primary biliary cirrhosis
  • primary sclerosing cholangitis


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