Expression of fatty-acid-binding protein 5 in intrahepatic and extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma: the possibility of different energy metabolisms in anatomical location

  • Risa Nakagawa
  • Nguyen Canh Hiep
  • Hirofumi Ouchi
  • Yasunori Sato
  • Kenichi HaradaEmail author
Original Paper


The biliary tract cancer (BTC) covers a range of carcinomas, including intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC), cholangiolocellular carcinoma (CoCC), perihilar cholangiocarcinoma (perihilar CC), extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ECC), and gallbladder cancer (GBC), defined according to the anatomical location. These adenocarcinomas mostly comprise biliary epithelial cell-derived malignant cells. In addition to anatomical differences, there are morphological and biological differences in BTC starting from embryonic development of the tissues extending to physiological differences. Fatty acid-binding proteins (FABPs) are closely associated with the energy metabolism. Using surgical specimens from 74 BTCs, we performed immunohistochemistry for FABP5 and its associated molecules, including peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ), PPARγ coactivator 1 (PGC-1), and estrogen-related receptor α (ERRα). We found that the expression patterns of small BTCs (ICC and CoCC) considerably differed from those of large BTCs (perihilar CC, ECC, and GBC). Expression of FABP5 and PGC-1 in large BTCs was high compared with those of small BTCs, but no difference in the expression of PPARγ and ERRα was observed. FABP5 appears to play a role in malignant progression in large BTCs. Small and large BTCs possess different energy metabolism systems owing to their different anatomical locations and course of carcinogenesis, although all BTCs originate from biliary epithelial cells.


Fatty-acid-binding protein 5 Biliary tract cancer Extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma Energy metabolism 



This study was conducted and supported by Grant No. 17H04058 from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan (K.H.) and Health Labor Science Research Grants from Research on Measures for Intractable Diseases, the Intractable Hepato-Biliary Diseases Study Group in Japan.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest regarding the publication of this paper.

Supplementary material

795_2019_230_MOESM1_ESM.docx (17 kb)
Supplementary file1 (DOCX 16 kb)


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Copyright information

© The Japanese Society for Clinical Molecular Morphology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Human PathologyKanazawa University Graduate School of Medical ScienceKanazawaJapan

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