Adult Liver Stem Cells

  • D. Hunter Best
  • William B. Coleman
Part of the Molecular Pathology Library book series (MPLB, volume 5)


The search for stem-like progenitor cells of the adult liver has been ongoing for many decades. However, as recently as 20 years ago the existence of liver cells with stem-like potential was critically questioned and not generally accepted [1, 2]. In contrast, it has long been known that tissues with high cellular turnover (like skin, intestine, and bone marrow) contain stem cells that function to maintain tissue homeostasis through continuous renewal of the cell lineage [3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8]. Evidence for stem-like liver progenitor cells first emerged from studies of liver injury, regeneration, and carcinogenesis in rodent models. Some evidence for stem-like progenitor cells of the adult human liver has appeared in the literature during the last 20 years. Since that time, investigations into the roles that these stem-like progenitor cells play in response to hepatic injury and carcinogenesis have escalated. In addition, there is tremendous interest in pursuing the potential application of stem-like progenitor cells for treatment of liver disease through gene therapy and cell transplantation approaches [9, 10, 11, 12, 13].


Oval Cell Biliary Epithelial Cell Mature Hepatocyte Bone Marrow Progenitor Cell Liver Stem Cell 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pathology and Laboratory MedicineUniversity of North Carolina School of MedicineChapel HillUSA

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