Published online Aug 7, 2018. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v24.i29.3260
Peer-review started: April 23, 2018
First decision: May 9, 2018
Revised: June 3, 2018
Accepted: June 25, 2018
Article in press: June 25, 2018
Published online: August 7, 2018
To analyze the expression and function of the Notch signaling target gene Hes1 in a rhesus rotavirus-induced mouse biliary atresia model.
The morphologies of biliary epithelial cells in biliary atresia patients and in a mouse model were examined by immunohistochemical staining. Then, the differential expression of Notch signaling pathway-related molecules was investigated. Further, the effects of the siRNA-mediated inhibition of Hes1 expression were examined using a biliary epithelial cell 3D culture system.
Both immature (EpCAM+) and mature (CK19+) biliary epithelial cells were detected in the livers of biliary atresia patients without a ductile structure and in the mouse model with a distorted bile duct structure. The hepatic expression of transcripts for most Notch signaling molecules were significantly reduced on day 7 but recovered to normal levels by day 14, except for the target molecule Hes1, which still exhibited lower mRNA and protein levels. Expression of the Hes1 transcriptional co-regulator, RBP-Jκ was also reduced. A 3D gel culture system promoted the maturation of immature biliary epithelial cells, with increased expression of CK19+ cells and the formation of a duct-like structure. The administration of Hes1 siRNA blocked this process. As a result, the cells remained in an immature state, and no duct-like structure was observed.
Our data indicated that Hes1 might contribute to the maturation and the cellular structure organization of biliary epithelial cells, which provides new insight into understanding the pathology of biliary atresia.
Core tip: Similar immature biliary epithelial cells and distorted bile ductules were observed in biliary atresia patients and a mouse biliary atresia model. Investigation of the Notch signaling pathway target gene Hes1 showed that mRNA and protein expression was reduced in mouse liver, which was partially due to reduced expression of transcriptional co-regulator RBP-Jκ. In biliary epithelial cells 3D gel culture system, the administration of Hes1 siRNA blocked the maturation and duct-like structure formation process, which resulted in the cells still being in an immature state and no duct-like structure was observed.