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Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 2011, Article ID 564062, 10 pages
Research Article

The Role of CXCR3 in the Induction of Primary Biliary Cirrhosis

1Department of Rheumatology, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing 100730, China
2Department of Respiratory Disease, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing 100730, China
3Department of Rheumatology, Affiliated Hospital of Qingdao University Medical College, 266053, China

Received 17 October 2010; Revised 9 February 2011; Accepted 24 February 2011

Academic Editor: S. Sozzani

Copyright © 2011 Wen Zhang 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.


Objective. Investigate whether CXCR3 and its ligands were involved in the pathogenesis of primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) in an autoimmune cholangitis animal model. Methods. Female C57BL/6 mice were injected with 5 mg/kg of poly I:C intraperitoneally twice a week for 24 weeks. PBC model was confirmed by liver function, serum autoantibodies and liver biopsy. Lymphocytes subsets in liver and spleen and CXCL10 serum level were tested by flow cytometry and ELISA. Liver specimens were collected to evaluate the differences in pathology between WT and CXCR3−/− mice. Results. Antimitochondrial antibody was detected in all PBC model. Numbers of infiltrates were detected in the portal areas 8 weeks after poly I:C injection, which progressed up to 24 weeks. Compared to control mice, CXCL10 serum level increased in PBC mice and the proportion of CXCR3+ cells increased in the intrahepatic infiltrates of PBC mice, chiefly on CD8+ cells, whereas the expression of CXCR3 on CD3+ and CD8+ splenocytes decreased in PBC model. Compared with WT mice, CXCR3−/− mice developed delayed and milder progression of cellular inflammation. Conculsions. CXCR3 might contribute to the development of PBC in murine model. Knockout of CXCR3 might delay and alleviate the PBC disease progression, but could not entirely block the disease development.