Sera were examined by immunofluorescence for circulating antibodies to cytoplasm of bile ductular cells in order to ascertain the role of these antibodies in progression or self-perpetuation of liver diseases. Cirrhotic livers were examined with positive sera to identify the nature of the antigen and the type of ductules to which the sera bind. Antiductular antibody was found most frequently in primary biliary cirrhosis (75%), viral hepatitis (67%), and postnecrotic cirrhosis (47%), and the incidence roughly reflected the extent and severity of the bile ductular reaction. The antigen is presumed to be a carbohydrate-protein complex occurring in larger ductular cells with basophilic cytoplasm surrounded by mesenchymal reaction.
Paronetto F, Schaffner F, Mutter RD, Kniffen JC, Popper H. Circulating Antibodies to Bile Ductular Cells in Various Liver Diseases. JAMA. 1964;187(7):503-506. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03060200035006