ABSTRACT: To investigate the phenotypic characteristics of human fetal liver cells (FLCs) and to obtain the homogenous hepatic progenitors with cloning.
Immunofluorescence and flow cytometry were used to determine the phenotypes of the FLCs. The proliferating colonies were isolated using clone ring in different culture conditions. Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was used to determine the mRNA expression after further cultivation.
The cultured FLCs showed a non-typical epithelial morphology. The positive rate for hepatic cell specific markers alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), albumin (Alb), cytokeratin 8 (CK8) and CK19 were approximately 28.1%, 84.7%, 55.1% and 9.1% respectively. Furthermore, the FLCs expressed the hematopoietic stem cell markers CD34 and CD45 with percentages of 0.04% and 0.09%. 71.8% and 75.3% of the FLCs were positive for the mesenchymal cell marker CD105 and CD166. Most of the colonies showed an elongated morphology, some with an unregular spreading-out morphology, only a small number of colonies with an epithelial-like morphology. RT-PCR results showed that among the 19 colonies obtained after further cultivation and the percentages of epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM), AFP, Alb and CK19 were 52.6%, 21.1%, 52.6% and 84.2%, respectively.
The clonal culture system is beneficial to obtain the homogenous hepatic progenitor cells from the heterogeneous culture of FLCs.
Zhonghua gan zang bing za zhi = Zhonghua ganzangbing zazhi = Chinese journal of hepatology 10/2010; 18(10):763-7.