Human binucleate hepatocytes: Are they a defence during chronic liver diseases?

Fabio Grizzi, Maurizio Chiriva-Internati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Binucleate cells are commonly found in various human organs including liver, salivary glands and endometrium, but their functional advantage remains unknown. The increased occurrence of binucleate hepatocytes during the necro-inflammation stage of progressive chronic hepatitis and its end-stage of cirrhosis, but their absence in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), has led us to hypothesise that they may be an index of the severity of hepatic illness rather than the result of errors occurring during the course of the cell cycle. This hypothesis is supported by the immunohistochemical analysis of retinol-binding protein expression, and the different life cycles of hepatitis B virus in mononucleate and binucleate hepatocytes. If founded, this hypothesis would add to our understanding of the relationship between binucleate hepatocytes and the evolution of chronic liver disease, and promises the ideation of new criteria for identifying potential HCC patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-261
Number of pages4
JournalMedical Hypotheses
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Medicine(all)
  • Drug Discovery


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