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Gastroenterology. 1996 Oct;111(4):1118-24.

Hepatic microcirculation and peribiliary plexus in experimental biliary cirrhosis: a morphological study.

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  • 1Department of Experimental Medicine, State University of L'Aquila, Italy.



The peribiliary plexus plays a fundamental role in supporting the secretory and absorptive functions of biliary epithelium. Little information is available on the rearrangement of the peribiliary plexus during conditions associated with ductular proliferation. This study investigated the chronological modulation of bile duct and peribiliary plexus proliferation after common bile duct ligation in the rat.


Light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy vascular corrosion cast technique was used to study the architecture of the peribiliary plexus in rats with 1, 2, and 4 weeks of common bile duct ligation or in sham-operated controls.


After 1 week of common bile duct ligation, no evident change of hepatic microvasculature was observed despite significant proliferation of bile ducts. After 2 and 4 weeks, significant microvasculature proliferation was observed extending from the peribiliary plexus of bile tracts. Vascular proliferation coincides with the extension of portal tract connective tissue. No evidence of vascular proliferation or other morphological modifications was present at the level of sinusoids around the portal tracts.


After common bile duct ligation, the peribillary plexus undergoes marked proliferation, thus supporting the increased nutritional and functional demands from the proliferated bile ductal system. However, the proliferation of the peribillary plexus only occurs after that of the bile ductal system.

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