Expression of neural cell adhesion molecule (N-CAM) in perisinusoidal stellate cells of the human liver
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- Nakatani, K., Seki, S., Kawada, N. et al. Cell Tissue Res (1995) 283: 159. doi:10.1007/s004410050524
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Neural cell adhesion molecule (N-CAM) is distributed in most nerve cells and some non-neural tissues. The present immunohistochemical study has revealed, for the first time, the expression of N-CAM in perisinusoidal stellate cells of the human liver. Liver specimens were stained with monoclonal antibody against human Leu19 (N-CAM) by a streptoavidin-biotin-peroxidase-complex method. Light- and electron-microscopic analyses have shown that N-CAM-positive nerve fibers are distributed in the periportal and intermediate zones of the liver lobule. Perisinusoidal stellate cells in these zones are also positive for N-CAM. N-CAM is expressed on the surface of the cell, including cytoplasmic projections. Close contact of N-CAM-positive nerve endings with N-CAM-positive stellate cells has been observed. On the other hand, stellate cells in the centrilobular zone exhibit weak or no reaction for N-CAM. Perivascular smooth muscle cells and fibroblasts in the portal area and myofibroblasts around the central veins are negative for N-CAM. The present results indicate that the perisinusoidal stellate cells in the periportal and intermediate zones of the liver lobule characteristically express N-CAM, unlike other related mesenchymal cells, and suggest that the intralobular heterogeneity of N-CAM expression by stellate cells is related to the different maturational stages of these cells.