Liver Stem Cells: From Preface to Advancements
Muhammad Javed Iqbal,
Muhammad Sajid Hamid Akash.
Liver is a major metabolic organ of the body and is known to comprise of two epithelial cell lineages, namely,
hepatocytes and cholangiocytes which are known to originate from hepatoblasts during fetal developing stages. Upon
acute injury, the hepatocytes and cholangiocytes undergo cellular division to compensate the loss, however, chronic damage
may suppress this proliferative ability and as a consequence hepatic and extra-hepatic stem cells may contribute for
liver regeneration. Facultative liver stem cells (oval cells) may emerge, proliferate and contribute in replacing damaged
hepatic cells. Similarly, bone marrow and mesenchymal stem cells are also known for contributing in liver regeneration
having their ability of self renewal and differentiation. However, a closer look is still required to bridge the existing
knowledge gaps between functionality and limitations. Thereby, we have discussed the detailed mechanistic insights of
both hepatic and extra-hepatic stem cells including, stem/progenitor cells, adult/fetal hepatocytes, oval cells, bone marrow
and mesenchymal stem cells. We have also focused on few in vitro and in vivo studies elucidating therapeutic applications
and challenges related to the liver stem cells. We believe that such conversations may provide invaluable contribution for
realistic advancement in the state of therapeutic stem-cell transplantation.
Keywords: Bioartificial liver, hepatocellular carcinoma, hepatocytes, oval cells, stem/progenitor cells.
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