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Molecular pathogenesis of intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy

  • Marco Arrese (a1), Rocio I.R. Macias (a2), Oscar Briz (a3), Maria J. Perez (a3) and Jose J.G. Marin (a2)...


Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP) occurs mainly in the third trimester and is characterised by pruritus and elevated serum bile acid levels. ICP is associated with an increased perinatal risk and higher rates of foetal morbidity and mortality. Although the pathogenesis of this disease is unknown, a genetic hypersensitivity to female hormones (oestrogen and/or progesterone) or their metabolites is thought to impair bile secretory function. Recent data suggest that mutations or polymorphisms of genes expressing hepatobiliary transport proteins or their nuclear regulators may contribute to the development and/or severity of ICP. Unidentified environmental factors may also influence pathogenesis of the disease. This review summarises current knowledge on the potential mechanisms involved in ICP at the molecular level.


Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Marco Arrese, Departamento de Gastroenterología, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Marcoleta 367, Santiago 833-0024, Chile. Tel:  + 56 2 6863820; Fax:  + 56 2 6397780; E-mail:


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The website from The Cholestatic Liver Disease Consortium CLiC, is a collaborative efforyt of a team of doctors, nurses, research coordinators and patient support organisations throughout the USA and UK, working together to improve the lives of children and families dealing with rare Cholestatic Liver Diseases. This website provides background on the significance of transporter mutations.

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Molecular pathogenesis of intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy

  • Marco Arrese (a1), Rocio I.R. Macias (a2), Oscar Briz (a3), Maria J. Perez (a3) and Jose J.G. Marin (a2)...


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