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ISSN: 1233-9687
Polish Journal of Pathology
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vol. 69
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Liver sinusoidal endothelial cells in morphogenesis of pediatric autoimmune hepatitis. Ultrastructural characteristics – a novel report

Joanna M. Łotowska, Maria E. Sobaniec-Łotowska, Piotr Sobaniec, Dariusz M. Lebensztejn

Pol J Pathol 2018; 69 (4): 327-334
Online publish date: 2019/01/31
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The pathogenesis of autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) is poorly understood. Up to now, little is known of the involvement of liver sinusoidal endothelial cells (LSECs), accounting for approximately 40% of nonparenchymal hepatic cells, in AIH morphogenesis in pediatric patients.

The study objective was ultrastructural analysis of LSECs from pretreatment biopsies of 19 children, aged 4-17 years (14 girls), with clinically and histologically diagnosed AIH.

Our study is the first to describe alterations in LSECs, from swelling to necrosis, demonstrating their important role in the morphogenesis and progression of pediatric AIH. Frequently damage to LSECs coexisted with significantly activated Kupffer cells, fibrogenesis and fibrosis, but not cirrhosis, accompanied by the appearance of transitional hepatic stellate cells. Interestingly, even though in half of the AIH children the sinusoidal vessels were found to undergo transformation of discontinuous into continuous endothelium showing features of defenestration, the true basement membrane did not form underneath. The fact that the basement membrane is not formed, even when LSECs are markedly damaged, may seem to indicate some regenerative capacities of these cells and lesion reversibility.

liver sinusoidal endothelial cells, nonparenchymal hepatic cells, pediatric autoimmune hepatitis, pretreatment liver oligobiopsy material, ultrastructure

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