Background: Pancreaticobiliary maljunction is usually associated with choledochal cysts and often causes biliary carcinoma; however, the mechanism of carcinogenesis remains unknown. No study has analyzed overall changes in genetic expression beginning during childhood in gallbladder epithelia with pancreaticobiliary maljunction.
Patients and Methods: The genomewide expression of gallbladder epithelia was analyzed in 6 children with pancreaticobiliary maljunction and in 4 pediatric controls. Selected genes that were expressed differentially were further analyzed by the real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The products of upregulated genes confirmed by real-time RT-PCR were immunohistochemically analyzed using gallbladders from 19 children with pancreaticobiliary maljunction, 5 pediatric controls, and 5 children with gallstones.
Results: Microarray analysis identified 188 upregulated and 160 downregulated genes. RT-PCR confirmed upregulation in 5 of 6 genes and downregulation in 1 of 5 genes, including UCA1, DUOX2, DUOXA2, ID1, BMF, and GP2. Immunohistochemistry showed a significantly higher expression of BMF in the pancreaticobiliary maljunction patients than in the controls and gallstone patients.
Conclusions: This study identified several deregulated genes in the gallbladder of children with pancreaticobiliary maljunction, which may contribute to the pathophysiology. UCA1, a noncoding RNA, is an oncofetal gene, and its upregulation may be important for biliary carcinogenesis. The elevated expression of BMF may function as an apoptotic activator in proliferative gallbladder epithelia.