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Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2006 Dec;291(6):G1187-9. Epub 2006 Jun 15.

Rat liver endothelial cells isolated by anti-CD31 immunomagnetic separation lack fenestrae and sieve plates.

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  • 1Research Center for Liver Diseases and the Division of Gastrointestinal and Liver Diseases, Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California 90033, USA.


The gold standard for the identification of sinusoidal endothelial cells (SEC) is the presence of fenestrae organized in sieve plates, which is characteristic of SEC in vivo. One of the methods currently in use to isolate SEC is immunomagnetic sorting for CD31. However, there is evidence to suggest that CD31 is not present on the surface of differentiated SEC. The present study used scanning electron microscopy to image rat hepatic endothelial cells isolated by anti-CD31 and immunomagnetic sorting and cells isolated by gradient centrifugation and centrifugal elutriation. Cells isolated by elutriation had well-developed fenestrae and sieve plates, whereas cells isolated by anti-CD31 and immunomagnetic sorting had significantly fewer fenestrae organized in sieve plates. In conclusion, cells isolated by anti-CD31 and immunomagnetic sorting lacked the hallmark features of SEC.

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