Hematopoietic mobilization in mice increases the presence of bone marrow–derived hepatocytes via in vivo cell fusion


  • Potential conflict of interest: Nothing to report.


The mechanisms for in vivo production of bone marrow–derived hepatocytes (BMDHs) remain largely unclear. We investigated whether granulocyte colony–stimulating factor (G-CSF)–mediated mobilization of hematopoietic cells increases the phenomenon. Recurrent liver injury in mice expressing green fluorescent protein (EGFP) in all hematopoietic-derived cells was produced by 3 months of carbon tetrachloride (CCL4) injections. Histologically, there were necrotic foci with histiocyte-rich infiltrates, but little oval cell proliferation. Subsequently, some animals were mobilized with G-CSF for 1, 2, or 3 weeks. Animals were sacrificed 1 month after growth factor treatment. BMDH percentages were lower than previously reported, though G-CSF mobilization significantly augmented BMDH production in injured livers. BMDHs originating from in vivo fusion were evaluated by transplanting female EGFP+ cells into male mice. Binucleated, EGFP+ hepatocytes with one Y chromosome, indicating fusion, were identified. In conclusion, (1) mobilization of hematopoietic cells increases BMDH production and (2) as with the FAH-null model, the first model demonstrating hematopoietic/hepatocyte fusion, recurring CCl4-induced injury has macrophage-rich infiltrates, a blunted oval cell response, and a predominantly in vivo fusion process for circulating cell engraftment into the liver. These findings open the possibility of using hematopoietic growth factors to treat nonhematopoietic degenerative diseases. (HEPATOLOGY 2006;43:108–116.)