Objective: The present study was aimed to investigate and compare the kinetics of bone marrow-derived hematopoietic stem cells (BMHSC) migration in the peripheral blood and liver in response to liver injury in patients with chronic liver disease (CLD).
Methods: In all, 45 CLD patients staged with Child-Pugh A, B and C and 15 healthy participants were evaluated for the concentration of circulating BMHSC by a flow cytometric analysis of CD133(+) /CD34(+) cells. In addition, homing BMHSC and hepatic progenitors were assessed by the immunohistochemical detection of CD133(+) and OV6(+) cells in liver biopsy specimens from Child-Pugh A and B patients.
Results: No significant difference in the percentage of circulating CD133(+) /CD34(+) cells was observed among all groups of patients. In liver tissues, OV6(+) cells increased significantly in Child-Pugh B cases (P < 0.05), while CD133(+) cells were distributed sparsely in the periportal region in Child-Pugh A and B patients. OV6(+) cells were significantly correlated with CD34(+) cells but not with CD133(+) cells in Child-Pugh A and B patients (P < 0.01 and P < 0.05, respectively).
Conclusions: Various degrees of severity in CLD neither evoked the mobilization of BMHSC into the circulation nor triggered their homing into liver tissue, thus excluding extrahepatic stem cell-mediated repair. The recovery process seems to be dependent on proliferating endogenous liver progenitors (OV6(+) cells).
© 2012 The Authors. Journal of Digestive Diseases © 2012 Chinese Medical Association Shanghai Branch, Chinese Society of Gastroenterology, Renji Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine and Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.