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Epithelial Stem-like Cells Of The Rodent Liver
W. Coleman, J. Grisham
Published 1998 · Biology
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The idea that rodent liver contains stem-like* epithelial cells that can give rise to hepatocytes and biliary epithelial cells has developed from evidence that has accumulated from nearly 100 years of investigation into the biology of the liver. Early in this century, investigators recognized potential lineage relationships among biliary epithelial cells, transitional cells and hepatocytes in several rodent models of liver regeneration (MacCallum, 1902, 1904; Muir, 1908; Milne, 1909). Studies on hepatocarcinogenesis produced additional evidence that hepatocytes could be generated through the proliferation and differentiation of transitional cells possessing features of both ductular cells and hepatocytes (Price et al., 1952; Firminger, 1955). Subsequently, Wilson and Leduc (1958) suggested that cells contained in the cholangioles or terminal bile ductules constitute a compartment of stem-like cells that can proliferate and generate hepatocytes in some forms of liver injury. Since then, the concept of the liver stem cell has been the subject of considerable debate and discussion, and several reviews have appeared recently (Fausto, 1990; Sell, 1990; Aterman, 1992; Thorgeirsson, 1993; Fausto, 1994; Sell, 1994; Alison, Golding and Sarraf, 1996; Golding et al., 1996; Grisham and Coleman, 1996; Grisham and Thorgeirsson, 1997). The debate surrounding the liver stem cell is fueled by the fact that stem cells and their phenotypic characteristics are largely intuitive concepts. As is true for other tissues, putative stem cells of the liver have not been identified microscopically and have not been isolated from the normal liver in pure form.
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