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Human liver progenitor cell lines are readily established from Non-tumorous tissue adjacent to hepatocellular carcinoma

Zhang, A., London, R., Schulz, F.M., Giguère-Simmonds, P.W.R., Delriviere, L., Chandraratana, H., Hardy, K., Zheng, S., Olynyk, J.K. and Yeoh, G. (2010) Human liver progenitor cell lines are readily established from Non-tumorous tissue adjacent to hepatocellular carcinoma. Stem Cells and Development, 19 (8). pp. 1277-1284.

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Non-tumorous liver tissue removed during surgery to resect hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is potentially a useful source of material from which cells, particularly liver progenitor/stem cells (LPCs), can be isolated to establish cell lines. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the applicability of the “plate-and-wait” method to derive LPCs from resections to remove HCC. Three independent non-tumorous liver samples from HCC resection and 3 samples from liver donors were used for LPC isolation. Staining for LPC markers, OV6, CK19, and EpCAM, in the above liver samples demonstrated staining in only 2 of the non-tumorous samples. We isolated 2 human liver epithelial cell lines (HLECs) from these 2 samples. These HLECs were positive for general stem cell markers CD133, EpCAM, and Oct4. They expressed the liver progenitor cell markers OV6, CK14, and M2PK but not CK19. They also expressed the hepatocellular markers albumin, CK8, CK18, HNF4-α, and the drug-metabolizing gene CYP3A4. These cells accumulated glycogen, indocyanine green, and synthesized urea. They produced colonies in soft agar that showed anchorage-independent growth and their tumorigenic status was confirmed when they produced tumors following transfer to athymic nude mice. In contrast, the third non-tumorous tissue and 3 normal liver samples did not produce cell lines. This study establishes a correlation between the presence of LPCs in the source liver tissue and the ability to derive cell lines from these tissues. The phenotypic similarities between the LPCs and the HLECs suggest that a precursor-product relationship may exist between the 2 cell types.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Mary Ann Liebert Inc.
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