Cholangiopathies encompass a heterogeneous group of disorders affecting biliary epithelial cells (i.e. cholangiocytes). Early diagnosis, prognosis and treatment still remain clinically challenging for most of these diseases and are critical for adequate patient care. In the past decade, extensive research has emphasized microRNAs (miRs) as potential non-invasive biomarkers and tools to accurately identify, predict and treat cholangiopathies. MiRs can be released extracellularly conjugated with lipoproteins or encapsulated in extracellular vesicles (EVs). Research on EVs is also gaining attention since they are present in multiple biological fluids and may represent a relevant source of novel non-invasive biomarkers and be vehicles for new therapeutic approaches. This review highlights the most promising candidate miRs and EV-related biomarkers in cholangiopathies, as well as their relevant roles in biliary pathophysiology. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Cholangiocytes in Health and Disease edited by Jesus Banales, Marco Marzioni, Nicholas LaRusso and Peter Jansen. Research strategy: PubMed search (April 2017) was done with the following terms: “microRNA”, “miRNA”, “miR”, “extracellular vesicles”, “EV”, “exosomes”, “primary biliary cholangitis”, “primary biliary cholangitis”, “PBC”, “primary sclerosing cholangitis”, “PSC”, “cholangiocarcinoma”, “CCA”, “biliary atresia”, “BA”, “polycystic liver diseases”, “PLD”, “cholangiopathies”, “cholestatic liver disease”. Most significant articles in full-text English were selected. The reference lists of selected papers were also considered.
Olaizola, P., Lee-Law, P. Y., Arbelaiz, A., Lapitz, A., Perugorria, M. J., Bujanda, L., & Banales, J. M. (2018, April 1). MicroRNAs and extracellular vesicles in cholangiopathies. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease. Elsevier B.V. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbadis.2017.06.026