Purification and Culture of Fetal Mouse Hepatoblasts that Are Precursors of Mature Hepatocytes and Biliary Epithelial Cells
To investigate cell–cell interactions during mammalian liver development, it is essential to separate hepatoblasts (fetal liver progenitor cells) from nonparenchymal cells, including stellate cells, endothelial cells, and hemopoietic cells. Various factors, which may be produced by nonparenchymal cells, could be assayed for their effects on the growth and maturation of separated hepatoblasts. The protocol using immunomagnetic beads coated with anti-mouse E-cadherin antibody is described for efficient isolation of hepatoblasts from cell suspensions of fetal mouse livers. The purity and recovery rate are larger than 95% and approximately 30%, respectively. The protocol may be useful for various studies focusing on the fetal liver progenitor cells.
Key wordsHepatoblasts Hepatic progenitor cells E-cadherin Nonparenchymal cells Cell–cell interaction MACS
This work was supported in part by Special Coordination Funds for Promoting Science and Technology from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology, the Japanese Government.