Cholestasis: human disease and experimental animal models.
- Emilio Alberto Rodríguez-Garay
- Annals of hepatology
The effects of cytochalasin B and colchicine on the structure and function of bile canaliculi were studied in neonatal rat hepatocytes in primary culture. Cellular contacts of neonatal hepatocytes were not as tight as those of adult hepatocytes. There was no remarkable difference in the ultrastructure of bile canaliculi between neonatal and adult hepatocytes. Neonatal hepatocytes treated with cytochalasin B were round in shape and aggregated in groups of several cells. Actin filaments stained by rhodamine-phalloidin were disrupted and condensed at the cell periphery or around dilated bile canaliculi. Markedly-dilated bile canaliculi with less microvilli were observed by transmission electron microscopy while the secretory function of horseradish peroxidase, which was used as a marker for uptake, transport and secretion into bile canaliculi, were maintained. The lumen of dilated bile canaliculi was found close to the undersurfaces of hepatocytes by scanning electron microscopy after turning over the cultured cells. By colchicine treatment, the filamentous structure of microtubules in neonatal hepatocytes disappeared. The ultrastructure of the bile canaliculi was not affected by the treatment, but transport and secretion of horseradish peroxidase into bile canaliculi were inhibited. The development of strict cellular polarity in neonatal hepatocytes may be suppressed in neonatal hepatocytes; however, cholestatic agents which rearrange the cytoskeleton caused the same morphological or functional changes of bile canaliculi as in adult hepatocytes.