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Human binucleate hepatocytes: are they a defence during chronic liver diseases?

Authors
  • Grizzi, Fabio
  • Chiriva-Internati, Maurizio
Type
Published Article
Journal
Medical Hypotheses
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2007
Volume
69
Issue
2
Pages
258–261
Identifiers
PMID: 17307305
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Binucleate cells are commonly found in various human organs including liver, salivary glands and endometrium, but their functional advantage remains unknown. The increased occurrence of binucleate hepatocytes during the necro-inflammation stage of progressive chronic hepatitis and its end-stage of cirrhosis, but their absence in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), has led us to hypothesise that they may be an index of the severity of hepatic illness rather than the result of errors occurring during the course of the cell cycle. This hypothesis is supported by the immunohistochemical analysis of retinol-binding protein expression, and the different life cycles of hepatitis B virus in mononucleate and binucleate hepatocytes. If founded, this hypothesis would add to our understanding of the relationship between binucleate hepatocytes and the evolution of chronic liver disease, and promises the ideation of new criteria for identifying potential HCC patients.

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