Biliary atresia: insights into mechanisms using a toxic model of the disease including Wnt and Hippo signaling pathways and microtubules

Sophia Fried, Adi Har-Zahav, Yara Hamudi, Sarah Mahameed, Rasha Mansur, Miri Dotan, Tal Cozacov, Raanan Shamir, Rebecca G. Wells, Orith Waisbourd-Zinman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Mechanisms underlying bile duct injury in biliary atresia (BA) remain unclear and mechanisms of bile duct repair are unknown. This study aimed to explore the roles of microtubule instability and Wnt and Hippo signaling pathways in a biliatresone-induced BA model. Methods: Using primary murine neonatal cholangiocytes in both 2D and 3D cultures, and ex-vivo extra hepatic bile ducts (EHBD) which also has peri-cholangiocyte area, we analyzed injury and recovery processes. Injury was induced by the toxin biliatresone and recovery was induced by toxin wash-out. Results: Microtubule stabilizer paclitaxel prevented biliatresone-induced injury, both to cholangiocytes as well as reduced periductal αSMA stain, this process is mediated by decreased glutathione levels. RhoU and Wnt11 (Wnt signaling) and Pard6g and Amotl1 (Hippo signaling) are involved in both injury and recovery processes, with the latter acting upstream to Wnt signaling. Conclusions: Early stages of biliatresone-induced EHBD injury in cholangiocytes and periductal structures are reversible. Wnt and Hippo signaling pathways play crucial roles in injury and recovery, providing insights into BA injury mechanisms and potential recovery avenues. Impact: Microtubule stabilization prevents cholangiocyte injury and lumen obstruction in a toxic model of biliary atresia (biliatresone induced). Early stages of biliatresone-induced injury, affecting both cholangiocytes and periductal structures, are reversible. Both Wnt and Hippo signaling pathways play a crucial role in bile duct injury and recovery, with a noted interplay between the two. Understanding mechanisms of cholangiocyte recovery is imperative to unveil potential therapeutic avenues.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPediatric Research
Early online date25 Jun 2024
StateE-pub ahead of print - 25 Jun 2024
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2024.


Dive into the research topics of 'Biliary atresia: insights into mechanisms using a toxic model of the disease including Wnt and Hippo signaling pathways and microtubules'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this