Primary biliary cholangitis in China

Lifeng Wang, M. Eric Gershwin, Fu Sheng Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Purpose of review Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) is a chronic cholestatic liver disease characterized by immunomediated destruction of small and medium-sized intrahepatic bile ducts. In 1987, a cDNA for a 74 kDa mitochondrial autoantigen was cloned and identified as the E2 component of the mitochondrial pyruvate dehydrogenase complex, which improved the diagnosis and changed research directions in this field. In 1958, the first Chinese case of PBC was reported. But until 1990, a comprehensive description of the characteristics of Chinese PBC patients was published. In China we now know that PBC is not rare and usually does not progress to cirrhosis. Recent findings The number of Chinese patients with PBC has increased each and every year. This increase may be associated with the changes of liver disease spectrum, the application of convenient autoantibody detection kits, and the comprehensive understanding of the disease. It may also reflect, however, a westernization change in environmental features with China. There is now significant and important basic and clinical research on PBC in China, with major contributions in diagnostic criteria, treatment, and on basic biology. This has led to exciting proposals based on Chinese PBC cohorts. Summary Chinese hepatologists and scientists are now focusing their efforts on PBC. These efforts have led to new diagnostic biomarkers, novel therapeutic methods (stem cells and Chinese traditional medicine), and unique immunological mechanisms, including roles for T-follicular helper cells and monocyte subpopulations, both of which are involved in the breach of immune tolerance for PBC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-203
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Opinion in Gastroenterology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2016


  • Chinese traditional medicine
  • MicroRNA
  • Stem cell
  • T-follicular helper cell
  • Ursodeoxycholic acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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