Reactive Ductules Are Associated With Angiogenesis and Tumor Cell Proliferation in Pediatric Liver Cancer

Sanghoon Lee, Ping Zhou, Anita Gupta, Soona Shin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


While reactive ductules (RDs) have been observed in viral hepatitis, biliary atresia, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and adult hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), RDs in pediatric liver cancer remain uncharacterized. This study investigated the relationship of RDs with angiogenic paracrine factors, the extent of angiogenesis, and tumor cell proliferation in pediatric hepatoblastoma (HBL)/HCC livers. We quantified the extent of RDs and their expression of paracrine factors that include vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), vascular endothelial growth factor D (VEGFD), platelet-derived growth factor C, and angiopoietin 1 (ANGPT1). In addition, we performed immunohistochemical detection of the endothelial marker clusters of differentiation (CD)34 and the proliferation marker Ki67 followed by correlation analyses. In HBL, we found the percentage of RDs with Ki67 expression (% Ki67+ RDs) significantly correlated with intratumoral Ki67+ areas (r = 0.5138, P = 0.0349) and % ANGPT1+ RDs positively correlated with % Ki67+ RDs (r = 0.5851, P = 0.0136). In HCC, the high ANGPT1+ RDs group (i.e., cases with % ANGPT1+ RDs ≥50) exhibited high intratumoral Ki67+ areas compared to the low ANGPT1+ RDs group. In the combined HBL and HCC liver tumor group, there was a positive association between % platelet-derived growth factor C+ RDs and intratumoral Ki67+ areas (r = 0.4712, P = 0.0099) and the high VEGFD+ RDs group (≥50%) exhibited a high number of peritumoral CD34+ vessels compared to the low VEGFD+ RDs group. Conclusion: Paracrine factor-expressing RDs are associated with angiogenesis and proliferation of pediatric liver tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1199-1212
Number of pages14
JournalHepatology Communications
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology


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