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Am J Pathol. 1992 Jul;141(1):69-83.

Alcoholic liver disease. Parenchyma to stroma relationship in fibrosis and cirrhosis as revealed by three-dimensional reconstruction and immunohistochemistry.

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  • 1Institute of Pathology, University of Graz School of Medicine, Austria.


Severe ethanol-induced liver damage is characterized by fibrous dissociation of liver cell plates leading to many apparently isolated hepatocytes. Three-dimensional reconstruction, however, revealed hepatocytes that were surrounded by connective tissue as endpoints of "parenchymal pillars" or in association with liver cell plates and bile ductules. Double immunofluorescence studies displayed the expression of cytokeratin (CK) 7 in bile ducts, including bile ductules, but also in some hepatocytes still organized in liver cell plates. The other bile duct, typical CK, namely CK 19, was only detectable in few hepatocytes. However, the expression of CK 7 and/or CK 19 was less frequent in hepatocytes that were closely associated with bile ductules. CK 7 and CK 19 were also found in some, but not all, Mallory bodies. These observations indicate that the expression of these two CKs is neither related to a transformation of hepatocytes to bile duct-like structures ("ductal metaplasia") nor to the formation of Mallory bodies. Furthermore, double immunofluorescence studies revealed small groups of hepatocytes and bile ductules that were encircled by basement membrane material, thus suggesting the formation of "secretory units."

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