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Nature. 2015 Aug 13;524(7564):180-5. doi: 10.1038/nature14863. Epub 2015 Aug 5.

Self-renewing diploid Axin2(+) cells fuel homeostatic renewal of the liver.

Author information

1
1] Department of Developmental Biology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Stanford Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California 94305, USA [2] Department of Medicine and Liver Center, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California 94143, USA.
2
Department of Developmental Biology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Stanford Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California 94305, USA.

Abstract

The source of new hepatocytes in the uninjured liver has remained an open question. By lineage tracing using the Wnt-responsive gene Axin2 in mice, we identify a population of proliferating and self-renewing cells adjacent to the central vein in the liver lobule. These pericentral cells express the early liver progenitor marker Tbx3, are diploid, and thereby differ from mature hepatocytes, which are mostly polyploid. The descendants of pericentral cells differentiate into Tbx3-negative, polyploid hepatocytes, and can replace all hepatocytes along the liver lobule during homeostatic renewal. Adjacent central vein endothelial cells provide Wnt signals that maintain the pericentral cells, thereby constituting the niche. Thus, we identify a cell population in the liver that subserves homeostatic hepatocyte renewal, characterize its anatomical niche, and identify molecular signals that regulate its activity.

PMID:
26245375
PMCID:
PMC4589224
DOI:
10.1038/nature14863
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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