The immunobiology of primary sclerosing cholangitis

Christopher A. Aoki, Christopher Bowlus, M. Eric Gershwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


An understanding of the immunobiology of primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is essential to improving both diagnosis and treatment. There have been significant gains in the discovery of genetic polymorphisms that generate susceptibility to disease, but only limited data on etiologic events that may initiate the inflammatory response. Colonic inflammation produces memory T cells that have the ability to bind both biliary and colonic endothelial cells. One possible mechanism for the development of PSC is the homing of these memory T cells to the biliary tree. In addition, TNFα may contribute to the oxidative damage of the biliary system. Finally, although speculative, mononuclear cell responses against biliary epithelial cells may create a persistent inflammatory response, eventually leading to fibrosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-143
Number of pages7
JournalAutoimmunity Reviews
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2005


  • Autoantibodies
  • Bacterial antigens
  • HLA polymorphisms
  • Immunobiology
  • Lymphocyte homing
  • Primary sclerosing cholangitis
  • TNFα

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy


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