Are oval cells supposed to be liver stem cells or hepatoblasts?

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The aim of the work is to study the patterns of expression of oval cell markers during prenatal histogenesis of rat and human liver, as well as in human hepatocytes in vitro. The liver of rats was obtained at various gestation periods and during the first month after birth. Human embryos and fetuses are obtained as a result of legal medical abortions. The material was fixed and poured into paraffin according to the standard procedure or cryostatic sections were prepared, then stained with immunohistochemical indirect immunoperoxidase and streptavidin-biotin methods using commercial monoclonal antibodies to cytokeratins-7, -8, -18, -19. Gamma-glutamyl-transpeptidase was detected histochemically. The results of the studies showed that rat and human hepatoblasts express cytokeratin-19 and gamma-glutamyltrans-peptidase, whereas cholangiocytes express cytokeratin-7 (and only since the beginning of the formation of intrahepatic bile ducts). Moreover, human hepatocytes under cultivation begin to express cytokeratin-19 again. The data obtained show that the markers of oval cells (cytokeratin-19 and gamma-glutamyltranspeptidase) are markers of differentiating hepatocytes, which does not allow identifying oval cells with liver stem cells.

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About the authors

А. P. Kiyasov

Kazan State Medical University

Author for correspondence.

Department of Normal Anatomy

Russian Federation, Kazan

A. A. Gumerova

Kazan State Medical University


Department of Normal Anatomy

Russian Federation, Kazan

M. A. Titova

Kazan State Medical University


Department of Normal Anatomy

Russian Federation


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Supplementary files

Supplementary Files
1. Fig. 1. Rat liver

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2. Fig. 2. Rat liver

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