Hepatic stem cells: in search of

Stem Cells. 2006 Aug;24(8):1833-40. doi: 10.1634/stemcells.2006-0063. Epub 2006 May 4.


The field of stem cell biology has exploded with the study of a wide range of cellular populations involving endodermal, mesenchymal, and ectodermal organs. One area of extensive study has included the identification of hepatic stem and progenitor cell subpopulations. Liver stem cells provide insights into the potential pathways involving liver regeneration that are independent of mature hepatocytes. Hepatic progenitor cells are either bipotent or multipotent and capable of multiple rounds of replication. They have been identified in fetal as well as adult liver. Various injury models have been used to expand this cellular compartment. The nomenclature, origin, and function of the hepatic progenitor cell populations are areas of ongoing debate. In this review, we will discuss the different definitions and functions of hepatic progenitor cells as well as the current research efforts examining their therapeutic potential.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Liver / cytology*
  • Liver / embryology
  • Liver / physiology*
  • Stem Cell Transplantation
  • Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Stem Cells / physiology*