Animal Models of Primary Biliary Cirrhosis

Tomohiro Katsumi, Kyoko Tomita, Patrick S Leung, Guo xiang Yang, M. Eric Gershwin, Yoshiyuki Ueno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) is characterized histologically by the presence of chronic non-suppurative destructive cholangitis of the small interlobular bile duct, leading to chronic progressive cholestasis. Most PBC patients are asymptomatic and have a reasonable prognosis, but a few develop esophageal varices or jaundice, rapidly leading to liver failure within a short period. As multiple factors appear to be involved in the onset of PBC, its clinical course may be complicated. Therefore, the use of an animal model would be valuable for clarifying the pathogenesis of PBC. Here, we review recent data of selected PBC models, particularly spontaneous models, xenobiotic immunized models, and infection-triggered models. There are a number of spontaneous models: the NOD.c3c4, dominant-negative TGF-β receptor II, IL-2Rα−/−, Scurfy, and Ae2a,b−/− mice. These animal models manifest distinct clinical and immunological features similar, but also often different, from those of human PBC. It is clear that a combination of genetic predisposition, environmental factors, and immunological dysfunction contribute to the pathogenesis of PBC. The diverse clinical course and complexity of the immunological mechanisms of PBC cannot be fully recapitulated solely any single animal model. The challenge remains to develop a progressive PBC disease model that exhibits fibrosis, and ultimately hepatic failure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)142-153
Number of pages12
JournalClinical Reviews in Allergy and Immunology
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015


  • Autoimmunity
  • Environmental factors
  • Genetically modified spontaneous models
  • Infection-triggered model
  • Many derivation models
  • Xenobiotic immunized animal models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy


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