Bone marrow-derived stem cells in liver repair: 10 years down the line

Authors

  • Eleanor S. Gilchrist,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Hepatology, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
    • Centre for Liver and Digestive Disorders, Royal Infirmary, 51 Little France Crescent, Edinburgh EH16 4SA, United Kingdom
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    • Telephone: +441312421631; FAX: +441312421638

  • John N. Plevris

    1. Department of Medicine, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
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Abstract

Hematopoietic stem cells have potential in the field of regenerative medicine because of their capacity to form cells of different lineages. Bone marrow stem cells have been shown to contribute to parenchymal liver cell populations, and although this may not be functionally significant, it has sparked interest in the field of autologous stem cell infusion as a possible treatment for cirrhosis. In this review, we will examine the evidence for the contribution of bone marrow-derived cells to populations of liver cells and for the functional contribution of bone marrow-derived cells to both liver fibrosis and repair. The mechanisms by which cells are trafficked from the bone marrow to the liver are complex; the stromal derived factor-1/CXC receptor 4 axis is central to this process. There are limited data in liver injury, but we will examine findings from the bone marrow transplantation literature and discuss their relevance to liver disease. Stromal derived factor-1 also has a role in endogenous liver stem cell accumulation. Some groups have already started infusing autologous bone marrow cells into patients with cirrhosis. We will review these trials in the context of the basic science that we have discussed, and we will consider targets for investigation in the future. Liver Transpl 16:118–129, 2010. © 2010 AASLD.

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