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International Journal of Hepatology
Volume 2012, Article ID 547840, 9 pages
Review Article

Tutorial Review for Understanding of Cholangiopathy

Department of Human Pathology, Kanazawa University Graduate School of Medical Science, Kanazawa 920-8640, Japan

Received 23 March 2011; Accepted 23 June 2011

Academic Editor: A. J. Demetris

Copyright © 2012 Yasuni Nakanuma. 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.


The biliary tree consists of intrahepatic and extrahepatic bile ducts and is lined by biliary epithelial cells (or cholangiocytes). There are also peribiliary glands around the intrahepatic large bile ducts and extrahepatic bile ducts. The biliary tree is a conduit of bile secreted by hepatocytes and biliary epithelial cells and also of the peribiliary glands and has several physiological roles. A number of diseases affect mainly the intrahepatic and extrahepatic biliary tree, and, in this special issue, these cholangiopathies are reviewed in detail with respect to genetics, pathogenesis, and pathology. In this paper, the anatomy and physiology of the biliary tree, basic injuries to biliary epithelial cells from stress and bile duct damage, and representative cholangiopathies are briefly reviewed.