Imaging Monitoring of Kupffer Cell Function and Hepatic Oxygen Saturation in Preneoplastic Changes During Cholangiocarcinogenesis

Seunghyun Lee, Jung Hoon Kim, Jeong Hwa Lee, Yoh Zen, Joon Koo Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


We investigated serial changes of the Kupffer cell (KC) function and hepatic oxygen saturation (sO2) using contrast-enhanced ultrasound imaging (CEUS) and photoacoustic imaging (PAI) in preneoplastic changes during cholangiocarcinogenesis induced by obstructive cholangitis and N-nitrosodimethylamine in a mouse model. The CEUS and PAI were performed to assess Sonazoid contrast agent uptake by KC and changes in the sO2 of liver parenchyma. An extensive bile ductular reaction, cystic dilatation, and epithelial hyperplasia with dysplastic changes were noted in the experimental group. During the preneoplastic changes, the parenchymal echogenicity on the Kupffer-phase of CEUS was continuously decreased in the experimental group, and which means that the Sonazoid phagocytosis by KC was decreased. The number of KCs was increased in the CD68 analysis, indicating functionally impaired KCs. There was a simultaneous serial decrease in sO2 on PAI measurement of the experimental group during the preneoplastic changes. The experimental group also showed significantly higher expression of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α and vascular endothelial growth factor protein. Our study demonstrated that KC dysfunction and hypoxic environmental changes were the factors influencing preneoplastic change during cholangiocarcinogenesis, and we could non-invasively monitor these changes using CEUS and PAI.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14203
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2017

Cite this