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Bone marrow stem cells and the liver: are they relevant?

, : Bone marrow stem cells and the liver: are they relevant?. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology 24(10): 1608-1616

The contribution of bone marrow stem cell responses to liver homeostasis, injury and malignancy is discussed in this review. Pluripotent stem cells or their more committed progenitor progeny are essential to tissue development, regeneration and repair and are widely implicated in the pathogenesis of malignancy. Stem cell responses to injury are the focus of intense research efforts in the hope of future therapeutic manipulation. Stem cells occur within tissues, such as the liver, or arise from extrahepatic sites, in particular, the bone marrow. As the largest reservoir of stem cells in the adult, the bone marrow has been implicated in the stem cell response associated with liver injury. However, in liver injury, the relative contribution of bone marrow stem cells compared to intrahepatic progenitor responses is poorly characterized. Intrahepatic progenitor responses have been recently reviewed elsewhere. In this review, we have summarized liver-specific extrahepatic stem cell responses originating from the bone marrow. The physiological relevance of bone marrow stem cell responses to adult liver homeostasis, injury and malignancy is discussed with emphasis on mechanisms of bone marrow stem cell recruitment to sites of liver injury and its contribution to intrahepatic malignancy.


PMID: 19788602

DOI: 10.1111/j.1440-1746.2009.06004.x

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