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World J Gastroenterol. 2004 May 15;10(10):1480-6.

Characterization and enrichment of hepatic progenitor cells in adult rat liver.

Author information

1
Department of Infectious Diseases, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai 200025, China. ellen2111@sina.com.cn

Abstract

AIM:

To detect the markers of oval cells in adult rat liver and to enrich them for further analysis of characterization in vitro.

METHODS:

Rat model for hepatic oval cell proliferation was established with 2-acetylaminofluorene and two third partial hepatectomy (2-AAF/PH). Paraffin embedded rat liver sections from model (11 d after hepatectomy) and control groups were stained with HE and OV6, cytokeratin19 (CK19), albumin, alpha fetoprotein (AFP), connexin43, and c-kit antibodies by immunohistochemistry. Oval cell proliferation was measured with BrdU incorporation test. C-kit positive oval cells were enriched by using magnetic activated cell sorting (MACS). The sorted oval cells were cultured in a low density to observe colony formation and to examine their characterization in vitro by immunocytochemistry and RT-PCR.

RESULTS:

A 2-AAF/PH model was successfully established to activate the oval cell compartment in rat liver. BrdU incorporation test of oval cell was positive. The hepatic oval cells coexpressed oval cell specific marker OV6, hepatocyte-marker albumin and cholangiocyte-marker CK19. They also expressed AFP and connexin 43. C-kit, one hematopoietic stem cell receptor, was expressed in hepatic oval cells at high levels. By using c-kit antibody in conjunction with MACS, we developed a rapid oval cell isolation protocol. The sorted cells formed colony when cultured in vitro. Cells in the colony expressed albumin or CK19 or coexpressed both and BrdU incorporation test was positive. RT-PCR on colony showed expression of albumin and CK19 gene.

CONCLUSION:

Hepatic oval cells in the 2-AAF/PH model had the properties of hepatic stem/progenitor cells. Using MACS, we established a method to isolate oval cells. The sorted hepatic oval cells can form colony in vitro which expresses different combinations of phenotypic markers and genes from both hepatocytes and cholangiocyte lineage.

PMID:
15133858
PMCID:
PMC4656289
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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