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Zoolog Sci 2015 Jan 01;321:88-96. doi: 10.2108/zs140104.
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Histochemical Analyses of Biliary Development During Metamorphosis of Xenopus laevis Tadpoles.

Ueno T , Ishihara A , Yagi S , Koike T , Yamauchi K , Shiojiri N .

In mammalian liver development, intrahepatic biliary morphogenesis takes place in periportal, but not in pericentral, regions. Liver progenitor cells transiently form epithelial plate structures and then intrahepatic bile ducts around the portal veins under the influence of the mesenchyme. The present study was undertaken to histochemically examine normal biliary development and its dependence on the action of the thyroid hormone triiodothyronine (T3) in Xenopus laevis tadpoles. In these tadpoles, the development of hepatic ducts and intrahepatic biliary ducts commenced along the portal veins at NF stages 48-50 and stages 50-52, respectively, when the blood concentration of thyroid hormone may be still low. Some periportal hepatocytes expressed carbamoylphosphate synthase I and SOX9, which are hepatocyte and biliary cell markers, respectively, suggesting that periportal hepatocytes give rise to biliary epithelial cells. Periportal biliary cells did not form ductal plates, nor was the periportal mesenchyme well developed as seen in fetal mouse livers. jag1 mRNA was moderately expressed in cells of portal veins and biliary epithelial cells, and notch1 and notch2 mRNAs were weakly detectable in biliary epithelial cells during metamorphosis as seen in developing mammalian livers. These results suggest that Notch signaling plays a decisive role in biliary cell differentiation and morphogenesis of Xenopus tadpoles. Anti-thyroid agent treatment of the tadpoles resulted in delayed biliary morphogenesis, suggesting that biliary development may depend on T3. However, T3 treatment of the tadpoles did not enhance biliary development. Thus, T3 may act positively on biliary development at a very low concentration.

PubMed ID: 25660701
Article link: Zoolog Sci

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: jag1 notch1 notch2 sox9