Our understanding of the pathobiology of biliary epithelia is rapidly growing because of a surge of investigative activity. This became possible after suitable experimental models and techniques were developed with which to study cholangiocyte biology. Although the molecular mechanisms of bile formation by cholangiocytes and the role of these cells as a major cellular target in a variety of severe hepatobiliary diseases are currently being investigated, many questions remain unanswered, particularly regarding cholangiocellular functions, both in normal and abnormal conditions. As current experimental models become more refined, scientists with interests as diverse as cell biology and physiology, morphology, pharmacology, immunology, genetics, and oncology can be expected to further clarify the pathobiology of biliary epithelia.
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