ABSTRACT: Although several studies have addressed the engraftment of stem cells into the liver, the exact mechanisms in vivo remain unclear. In this study, we investigated the effects of soluble factors on cell migration using purified, expanded human liver stem cells (HLSCs) obtained from a pediatric liver resection. Using a in vitro transwell migration assay, we evaluated the migratory capacity of HLSCs under the influence of the cytokines tumor necross factor- [TNF]-α, interleukin [IL]-6, and interferon (IFN)-γ or the growth factors vascular endothelial growth factor [VEGF], basic fibroblast growth factor [bFGF], and hepatocyte growth factor [HGF], which are known to be highly secreted during liver injury. We also evaluated the migratory capacity indirectly influenced by cryopreserved human hepatocytes. The migration across the transwell membrane was promoted by VEGF, bFGF, TNF-α, IFN-γ, or hepatocytes. The cryopreserved human hepatocytes especially induced significant migration. These results suggested the presence of unidentified soluble factors from hepatocytes. This experiment described a reliable system for quantitative migration studies to broaden our understanding of the directional nature of cell migration.
Transplantation Proceedings 05/2012; 44(4):1120-2. · 1.00 Impact Factor