Author(s): Jang YY, Collector MI, Baylin SB, Diehl AM, Sharkis SJ
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Abstract Both plasticity and cell fusion have been suggested to have a role in germ-layer switching. To understand the mechanisms underlying cell fate changes, we have examined a highly enriched population of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) in vitro or in vivo in response to injury for liver-specific phenotypic and functional changes. Here we show that HSCs become liver cells when cocultured with injured liver separated by a barrier. Chromosomal analyses and tissue-specific gene and/or protein expression show that microenvironmental cues rather than fusion are responsible for conversion in vitro. We transplanted HSCs into liver-injured mice and observed that HSCs convert into viable hepatocytes with increasing injury. Notably, liver function was restored 2-7 d after transplantation. We conclude that HSCs contribute to the regeneration of injured liver by converting into functional hepatocytes without fusion.
This article was published in Nat Cell Biol
and referenced in Journal of Bone Research