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Blood. 1996 Jun 1;87(11):4568-80.

Structural and functional differentiation of sinusoidal endothelial cells during liver organogenesis in humans.

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1
Laboratoire de Biologie Cellulaire and INSERM U327, Faculté de Médicine Xavier Bichat, Paris, France.

Abstract

During fetal life, human liver sinusoids, which differentiate between 4 and 12 weeks of gestation from capillaries of the septum transversum, must support an important hematopoietic function and acquire the structural and functional characteristics of adult sinusoids. To gain insight into their differentiation process, we studied the expression of (1) markers of continuous endothelia, absent from adult sinusoidal endothelial cells (PECAM-1, CD34, and 1F10); (2) functional markers of adult sinusoidal endothelial calls (CD4, 1CAM-1, CD32, and CD14); and (3) extracellular matrix components (laminin, tenascin, fibronectin, and thrombospondin) in 37 fetuses of different gestational ages. We identified two successive differentiation events. (1) An early structural differentiation, occurring from 5 to 12 weeks of gestation, was characterized by the loss of continuous endothelial cell markers and a reduction in the perisinusoidal amount of laminin and in the deposition of tenascin, fibronectin, and thrombospondin; at the end of this process, fetal liver sinusoids present structural characteristics comparable to those of the sinuses in adult hematopoietic bone marrow. (2) A later functional differentiation was characterized by the acquisition of the markers of adult sinusoidal endothelial cells, initiating at 10 weeks of gestation and completed by 20 weeks of gestation; this process likely contributes to adapt liver sinusoids to the specific functions of the adult hepatic tissue.

PMID:
8639825
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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