Unbalanced distribution of materials: the art of giving rise to hepatocytes from liver stem/progenitor cells

Authors

  • Wei-Hui Liu,

    1. General Surgery Center of PLA, Chengdu Military General Hospital, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China
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    • These authors equally contributed to this work.
  • Li-Na Ren,

    1. General Surgery Center of PLA, Chengdu Military General Hospital, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China
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    • These authors equally contributed to this work.
  • Tao Chen,

    1. General Surgery Center of PLA, Chengdu Military General Hospital, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China
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    • These authors equally contributed to this work.
  • Nan You,

    1. Department of General Surgery, Xinqiao Hospital, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing, China
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    • These authors equally contributed to this work.
  • Li-Ye Liu,

    1. General Surgery Center of PLA, Chengdu Military General Hospital, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China
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    • These authors equally contributed to this work.
  • Tao Wang,

    1. General Surgery Center of PLA, Chengdu Military General Hospital, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China
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    • These authors equally contributed to this work.
  • Hong-Tao Yan,

    1. General Surgery Center of PLA, Chengdu Military General Hospital, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China
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    • These authors equally contributed to this work.
  • Hao Luo,

    1. General Surgery Center of PLA, Chengdu Military General Hospital, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China
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    • These authors equally contributed to this work.
  • Li-Jun Tang

    Corresponding author
    1. General Surgery Center of PLA, Chengdu Military General Hospital, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China
    • Correspondence to: Prof. Li-jun TANG,

      General Surgery Center of PLA;

      Chengdu Military General Hospital,

      Chengdu, Sichuan Province 610083,

      China.

      Tel./fax: 0086-028-86571251

      E-mail: whjtlj1251@163.com

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Abstract

Liver stem/progenitor cells (LSPCs) are able to duplicate themselves and differentiate into each type of cells in the liver, including mature hepatocytes and cholangiocytes. Understanding how to accurately control the hepatic differentiation of LSPCs is a challenge in many fields from preclinical to clinical treatments. This review summarizes the recent advances made to control the hepatic differentiation of LSPCs over the last few decades. The hepatic differentiation of LSPCs is a gradual process consisting of three main steps: initiation, progression and accomplishment. The unbalanced distribution of the affecting materials in each step results in the hepatic maturation of LSPCs. As the innovative and creative works for generating hepatocytes with full functions from LSPCs are gradually accumulated, LSPC therapies will soon be a new choice for treating liver diseases.

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