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Pol J Pathol. 2011 Dec;62(4):241-9.

Cytokeratin 8 and 18 tissue expression in gallbladder mucosa of patients with cholelithiasis.

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Department of Histology and Embryology, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poland.


Cytokeratins (CKs) 8 and 18 are normally expressed in simple epithelia. This unique pair of CKs is believed to be involved in hepatic diseases and many human cancers. Little is known about the role of tissue expression of both CKs in patients with cholelithiasis (CH). The aim of the study was to analyse tissue expression of CK8 and 18 in the specimens of gallbladder mucosa in 35 young (up to 25 years of age) and 20 older patients (approximately 50 years of age) with CH. An immunocytochemical ABC method and the spatial visualization technique were conducted. Our study demonstrated significantly lower amounts of both CKs in young patients, as compared to older patients. The higher cellular expression of CK8 in older patients was linked to acute clinical course vs. chronic ones. Tissue expression of neither CK correlated with inflammatory activity (grading) of the gallbladder mucosa. A positive correlation between reciprocal expressions of the two CKs may confirm a cytoprotective role of the two proteins in both groups of patients with symptomatic CH. Significantly higher expression of CK18 than that of CK8 in younger patients suggests a different role of CK8 and 18 in lithogenesis in this group.

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