Activated cholangiocytes release macrophage-polarizing extracellular vesicles bearing the DAMP S100A11

Tomohiro Katsumi, Maria Eugenia Guicciardi, Adiba Azad, Steven F. Bronk, Anuradha Krishnan, Gregory J. Gores

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


In mouse models of biliary tract diseases, macrophages are recruited to the periductal milieu and promote injury and cholestasis. Although cell necrosis with release of biomolecules termed damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) promotes recruitment and activation of macrophages, necrosis was not observed in these studies. Because extracellular vesicles (EVs) are important in cell-to-cell communication, we postulated that activated cholangiocytes may release EVs containing DAMPs as cargo. Both the human (NHC) and mouse cholangiocyte (603B) cell lines display constitutive activation with mRNA expression of chemokines. Proteomic analysis revealed that EVs from both cell lines contained the DAMP S100A11, a ligand for the receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE). Bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDM) incubated with EVs derived from the mouse 603B cell line increased mRNA expression of proinflammatory cytokines. Genetic or pharmacologic inhibition of RAGE reduced BMDM expression of proinflammatory cytokines treated with EVs. RAGE signaling resulted in activation of the canonical NF-κB pathway, and consistently, proinflammatory cytokine expression was blunted by the IKKα/β inhibitor TPCA-1 in BMDM incubated with EVs. We also demonstrated that primary mouse cholangiocyte-derived organoids express chemokines indicating cholangiocyte activation, release EVs containing S100A11, and stimulate proinflammatory cytokine expression in BMDM by a RAGE-dependent pathway. In conclusion, these observations identify a non-cell death mechanism for cellular release of DAMPs by activated cholangiocytes, namely by releasing DAMPs as EV cargo. These data also suggest RAGE inhibitors may be salutary in macrophage- associated inflammatory diseases of the bile ducts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)C788-C799
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2019


  • Cholestatic liver injury
  • DAMPs
  • Extracellular vesicles
  • Macrophages
  • Sclerosing cholangitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Activated cholangiocytes release macrophage-polarizing extracellular vesicles bearing the DAMP S100A11'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this