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Disease Markers
Volume 2016, Article ID 6597970, 7 pages
Research Article

Detection of Autoantibodies to Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor-3 in Bile Duct Ligated Rats and Correlations with a Panel of Traditional Markers of Liver Diseases

1Catedra de Terapia Celular, Escuela de Medicina, Tecnológico de Monterrey, Avenida Morones Prieto 3000 Pte., 64710 Monterrey, NL, Mexico
2Centro de Biotecnología y Genómica de Plantas (CBGP), UPM-INIA, Campus de Montegancedo, Autovía M40, Km 38, Pozuelo de Alarcón, 28223 Madrid, Spain
3Servicio de Anatomía Patológica y Citopatología, Hospital Universitario “Dr. José Eleuterio González”, Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Madero y Dr. Aguirre Pequeño, 64460 Monterrey, NL, Mexico

Received 22 February 2016; Accepted 5 April 2016

Academic Editor: Michele Malaguarnera

Copyright © 2016 Florent Duval et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


There is a need for new noninvasive biomarkers (NIBMs) able to assess cholestasis and fibrosis in chronic cholestatic liver diseases (CCLDs). Tumorigenesis can arise from CCLDs. Therefore, autoantibodies to tumor-associated antigens (TAA) may be early produced in response to abnormal self-antigen expression caused by cholestatic injury. Vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-3 (VEGFR-3) has TAA potential since it is involved in cholangiocytes and lymphatic vessels proliferations during CCLDs. This study aims to detect autoantibodies directed at VEGFR-3 during bile duct ligation- (BDL-) induced cholestatic injury in rat sera and investigate whether they could be associated with traditional markers of liver damage, cholestasis, and fibrosis. An ELISA was performed to detect anti-VEGFR-3 autoantibodies in sera of rats with different degree of liver injury and results were correlated with aminotransferases, total bilirubin, and the relative fibrotic area. Mean absorbances of anti-VEGFR-3 autoantibodies were significantly increased from week one to week five after BDL. The highest correlation was observed with total bilirubin ( = 0.8450, ). In conclusion, anti-VEGFR-3 autoantibodies are early produced during BDL-induced cholestatic injury, and they are closely related to cholestasis, suggesting the potential of anti-VEGFR-3 autoantibodies as NIBMs of cholestasis in CCLDs and justifying the need for further investigations in patients with CCLD.