[13, 14] In addition, the report that SRY (sex determining region

[13, 14] In addition, the report that SRY (sex determining region Y)-box 17 (Sox17) and pancreatic and duodenal homeobox 1 (Pdx1) are expressed in PBGs in a fashion that is distinct from the adjacent epithelial lining of fetal bile ducts implies a potential role for PBGs as a niche of multipotent stem cells within the extrahepatic bile

duct (EHBD).[8] Here, we sought further learn more insight into the cellular composition of PBGs and their molecular relationships with the epithelium proper of the duct mucosa. Our working hypothesis was that PBGs are populated by mature and undifferentiated cells capable of proliferation in pathological states. To test this hypothesis, we developed a novel whole-mount in situ immunostaining technique that preserves the anatomical integrity of gallbladder Selleck Target Selective Inhibitor Library and EHBDs in suckling and adult mice. Applying confocal microscopy and three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction, we identified PBGs within the submucosal compartment along the entire length of the ductular system, except the gallbladder. Most notably, we discovered

that PBGs elongate to form complex epithelial networks that course and branch within the walls, expressing cytokeratin (CK)-19, Sox17, and Pdx1 and demonstrating cellular proliferation after viral infection and bile duct ligation (BDL). The gallbladder, cystic duct, and extrahepatic bile ducts of Balb/c mice (Charles River Laboratories Inc., Wilmington, MA) were microdissected en bloc from mice at 3 and 7 days and 2 months of age (N = 7 in each group); this medchemexpress anatomic unit will be referred to as EHBD, unless otherwise specified. EHBDs were fixed in ice-cold 3.7% formalin for 20 minutes, washed in 1× phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) for 10 minutes at room temperature (RT), permeabilized in Dent’s fixative (80% methanol/20% dimethyl sulfoxide) for 15 minutes, rehydrated through a series of methanol dilutions (75%, 50%, then 25% methanol in distilled H2O) for 7 minutes per dilution, washed in 1× PBS for 10 minutes and then in diluent solution (1× PBS with 1% bovine serum albumin and 0.1% Triton X-100) for 1.5 hours, followed by blocking in diluent solution

containing 10% normal donkey serum for an additional 2 hours and incubation with rabbit anti-cytokeratin (CK) antibody (Ab; N1512, undiluted; Dako North America, Carpinteria, CA) overnight at 4oC. EHBDs were then washed in diluent and incubated in donkey anti-rabbit DyLight 488 secondary Ab (711-485-152, diluted 1:333; Jackson Immunoresearch, West Grove, PA) for 5 hours at RT. To complete the assay, EHBDs were washed in diluent and dehydrated in 100% methanol. CK-specific signal using this Ab panel was reproduced using goat anti-mouse CK-19 Ab (33111, diluted at 1:100; Santa Cruz Biotechnology, Santa Cruz, CA). The same protocol was applied to the detection of α-tubulin with the addition of Abs to include mouse anti-α-tubulin Ab (T7451, diluted at 1:333; Sigma-Aldrich, St.

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