Stem cells are defined as cells having multilineage differentiation potential and self-renewal capability. Hepatic stem cells have aroused considerable interest not only because of their developmental importance but also for their therapeutic potential. However, their presence in the liver has not yet been demonstrated. With the use of a fluorescence-activated cell sorter (FACS) and monoclonal antibodies, we attempted to ascertain whether hepatic stem cells are present in the murine fetal liver. For this purpose, we optimized a cell isolation technique for FACS sorting of fetal liver cells. When isolated CD45-TER119- cells (the nonblood cell fraction in the fetal liver) were tested for their clonogenic colony-forming ability, mechanical dissociation (pipetting) was the most suitable cell isolation technique for FACS sorting. We confirmed that these colonies contained not only cells expressing hepatocyte markers but also cells expressing cholangiocyte markers. To identify hepatic stem cells, studies must focus on CD45-TER119- cells in the murine fetal liver.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering
- Cell Biology