Nonparenchymal Cells Cultivated from Explants of Fibrotic Liver Resemble Endothelial and Smooth Muscle Cells from Blood Vessel Walls

Authors

  • Bruno Voss,

    Corresponding author
    1. Institut für Arterioskleroseforschung an der Universität Münster, Medical Clinic of the University of Münster, and the Institute of Pathology of the University of Münster, Federal Republic of Germany
    • B. Voss, Institut für Arterioskleroseforschung, Domagkstr. 3,4400 Münster, Federal Republic of Germany.
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  • Jürgen Rauterberg,

    1. Institut für Arterioskleroseforschung an der Universität Münster, Medical Clinic of the University of Münster, and the Institute of Pathology of the University of Münster, Federal Republic of Germany
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  • Gerhard Pott,

    1. Institut für Arterioskleroseforschung an der Universität Münster, Medical Clinic of the University of Münster, and the Institute of Pathology of the University of Münster, Federal Republic of Germany
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  • Ute Brehmer,

    1. Institut für Arterioskleroseforschung an der Universität Münster, Medical Clinic of the University of Münster, and the Institute of Pathology of the University of Münster, Federal Republic of Germany
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  • Salah Allam,

    1. Institut für Arterioskleroseforschung an der Universität Münster, Medical Clinic of the University of Münster, and the Institute of Pathology of the University of Münster, Federal Republic of Germany
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  • Rolf Lehmann,

    1. Institut für Arterioskleroseforschung an der Universität Münster, Medical Clinic of the University of Münster, and the Institute of Pathology of the University of Münster, Federal Republic of Germany
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  • Dirk B. V. Bassewitz

    1. Institut für Arterioskleroseforschung an der Universität Münster, Medical Clinic of the University of Münster, and the Institute of Pathology of the University of Münster, Federal Republic of Germany
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  • This paper is dedicated to Professor Dr. G. M. Martini on the occasion of his 65th birthday.

Abstract

Tissue specimens from human fibrotic liver obtained by needle biopsy were cultured. Two cell types emerged from the tissue explants. From their morphology and biosynthetic products they resembled smooth muscle cells and endothelial cells from blood vessel walls. In the “endothelial” cells, factor VIII-associated protein was demonstrated by indirect immunofluorescence. Synthesis of collagen types I and III, basement membrane collagen types IV and V, and fibronectin by both cell types was observed by immunofluorescence microscopy. Homogeneous cultures of “smooth muscle cells” were observed in subcultures. After incubation with [14C]glycine, collagen was isolated and characterized by CM cellulose chromatography, and consisted mainly of types I and III. These data suggest involvement of mesenchymal cells in hepatic fibrosis; they presumably originate from blood vessel or sinusoidal walls.

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