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J Histochem Cytochem. 2004 Nov;52(11):1495-501.

Stem-like cells in human hepatoblastoma.

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  • 1Department of Pediatric Surgery, Universit├Ątsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf, Martinistrasse 52, D-20246 Hamburg, Germany. fiegel@uke.uni-hamburg.de


Hepatoblastoma is a pediatric liver tumor with epithelial components resembling embryonal and fetal liver cells. The existence of teratoid hepatoblastoma suggests the presence of stem cells in hepatoblastoma. The aim of this study was to analyze the expression of stem cell markers in hepatoblastomas. We studied specimens from 10 hepatoblastomas. Five of the hepatoblastomas were of epithelial and five of mixed type. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) for the stem cell markers CD34, Thy1, c-kit, and the hepatic or biliary lineage markers CK-18, OCH, CK-7, and CD56 was performed. Double IHC for stem cell and lineage markers was used to identify putative liver stem cells. The different markers showed distinct distributions on the tumor cells. Cells in atypical ducts were found to express simultaneously stem cell markers and hepatocytic or biliary lineage markers. Other cells in connective tissue showed c-kit expression, but not hepatic or biliary marker expression. The data show the presence of different cell populations bearing stem cell markers in human hepatoblastoma. Ductal cells co-expressing stem cell markers and hepatic lineage markers phenotypically resemble hepatic stem-like cells. These findings support the thesis that stem cells play a role in the histogenesis of hepatoblastoma.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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