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PLoS One. 2011;6(9):e24993. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0024993. Epub 2011 Sep 16.

Distinct populations of hepatic stellate cells in the mouse liver have different capacities for retinoid and lipid storage.

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1
Department of Medicine, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, New York, United States of America.

Abstract

Hepatic stellate cell (HSC) lipid droplets are specialized organelles for the storage of retinoid, accounting for 50-60% of all retinoid present in the body. When HSCs activate, retinyl ester levels progressively decrease and the lipid droplets are lost. The objective of this study was to determine if the HSC population in a healthy, uninjured liver demonstrates heterogeneity in its capacity for retinoid and lipid storage in lipid droplets. To this end, we utilized two methods of HSC isolation, which leverage distinct properties of these cells, including their vitamin A content and collagen expression. HSCs were isolated either from wild type (WT) mice in the C57BL/6 genetic background by flotation in a Nycodenz density gradient, followed by fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS) based on vitamin A autofluorescence, or from collagen-green fluorescent protein (GFP) mice by FACS based on GFP expression from a GFP transgene driven by the collagen I promoter. We show that GFP-HSCs have: (i) increased expression of typical markers of HSC activation; (ii) decreased retinyl ester levels, accompanied by reduced expression of the enzyme needed for hepatic retinyl ester synthesis (LRAT); (iii) decreased triglyceride levels; (iv) increased expression of genes associated with lipid catabolism; and (v) an increase in expression of the retinoid-catabolizing cytochrome, CYP2S1.

CONCLUSION:

Our observations suggest that the HSC population in a healthy, uninjured liver is heterogeneous. One subset of the total HSC population, which expresses early markers of HSC activation, may be "primed" and ready for rapid response to acute liver injury.

PMID:
21949825
PMCID:
PMC3174979
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0024993
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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