Hepatocyte transplantation into diseased mouse liver. Kinetics of parenchymal repopulation and identification of the proliferative capacity of tetraploid and octaploid hepatocytes

Am J Pathol. 2000 Dec;157(6):1963-74. doi: 10.1016/S0002-9440(10)64835-3.


To examine the process of liver repopulation by transplanted hepatocytes, we developed transgenic mice carrying a mouse major urinary protein-urokinase-type plasminogen activator fusion transgene. Expression of this transgene induced diffuse hepatocellular damage beginning at 3 weeks of age, and homozygous mice supported up to 97% parenchymal repopulation by healthy donor hepatocytes transplanted into the spleen. Using this transplantation model, we determined that 1) a mean of 21% of splenically injected hepatocytes engraft in liver parenchyma; 2) a mean of 6.6% of splenically injected hepatocytes (or one-third of engrafted cells) can give rise to proliferating hepatocyte foci; 3) transplanted cells in proliferating foci display an initial cell-doubling time of 28 hours, and focus growth continues through a mean of 12 cell doublings; 4) hepatocytes isolated from young and aged adult mice display similar focus repopulation kinetics; 5) the extent of repopulated parenchyma remains stable throughout the life of the recipient mouse; and 6) tetraploid and octaploid hepatocytes can support clonal proliferation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology
  • Animals
  • Cell Division
  • Hepatocytes / cytology
  • Hepatocytes / physiology
  • Hepatocytes / transplantation*
  • Injections
  • Kinetics
  • Liver Diseases / surgery*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic / genetics
  • Ploidies
  • Proteins / genetics
  • Spleen
  • Urokinase-Type Plasminogen Activator / genetics


  • Proteins
  • major urinary proteins
  • Urokinase-Type Plasminogen Activator