Genotyping graft livers by short tandem repeats after human living-donor liver transplantation (n = 20) revealed the presence of recipient or chimeric genotype cases in hepatocytes (6 of 17, 35.3%), sinusoidal cells (18 of 18, 100%), cholangiocytes (15 of 17, 88.2%) and cells in the periportal areas (7 of 8, 87.5%), suggesting extrahepatic cell involvement in liver regeneration. Regarding extrahepatic origin, bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) have been suggested to contribute to liver regeneration but compose a heterogeneous population. We focused on a more specific subpopulation (1-2% of BM-MSCs), called multilineage-differentiating stress-enduring (Muse) cells, for their ability to differentiate into liver-lineage cells and repair tissue. We generated a physical partial hepatectomy model in immunodeficient mice and injected green fluorescent protein (GFP)-labeled human BM-MSC Muse cells intravenously (n = 20). Immunohistochemistry, fluorescence in situ hybridization and species-specific polymerase chain reaction revealed that they integrated into regenerating areas and expressed liver progenitor markers during the early phase and then differentiated spontaneously into major liver components, including hepatocytes (≈74.3% of GFP-positive integrated Muse cells), cholangiocytes (≈17.7%), sinusoidal endothelial cells (≈2.0%), and Kupffer cells (≈6.0%). In contrast, the remaining cells in the BM-MSCs were not detected in the liver for up to 4 weeks. These results suggest that Muse cells are the predominant population of BM-MSCs that are capable of replacing major liver components during liver regeneration.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pharmacology (medical)