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FEBS Lett. 2009 Feb 18;583(4):777-81. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2009.01.022. Epub 2009 Jan 25.

Inducible expression of Wnt genes during adult hepatic stem/progenitor cell response.

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Laboratory of Cell Growth and Differentiation, Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, The University of Tokyo, 1-1-1 Yayoi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0032, Japan.


In injured livers where hepatocyte growth is severely limited, facultative hepatic stem/progenitor cells, termed oval cells in rodents, are known to emerge and contribute to the regeneration process. Here, we investigated a possible involvement of Wnt signaling during mouse oval cell response and found significant upregulation of several Wnt genes including Wnt7a, Wnt7b, and Wnt10a. Accordingly, increase of beta-catenin protein was observed in oval cell compartments. Pharmacological activation of the canonical Wnt/beta-catenin signaling induced proliferation of cultured hepatic stem/progenitor cell lines. These results together implicate the role of Wnt/beta-catenin signaling in adult hepatic stem/progenitor cell response.

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