Published On: Mon, Jul 29th, 2019

Liver transplants could be redundant with discovery of new liver cell, suggests a new study by researchers at King’s College London, who used single cell RNA sequencing to identify a type of cell that may be able to regenerate liver tissue, treating liver failure without the need for transplants. : Health

The title of the post is a copy and paste from the title and subtitle of the linked academic press release here:

Liver transplants could be redundant with discovery of new liver cell

Researchers at King’s College London have used single cell RNA sequencing to identify a type of cell that may be able to regenerate liver tissue, treating liver failure without the need for transplants.

Journal Reference:

Joe M. Segal, Deniz Kent, Daniel J. Wesche, Soon Seng Ng, Maria Serra, Bénédicte Oulès, Gozde Kar, Guy Emerton, Samuel J. I. Blackford, Spyros Darmanis, Rosa Miquel, Tu Vinh Luong, Ryo Yamamoto, Andrew Bonham, Wayel Jassem, Nigel Heaton, Alessandra Vigilante, Aileen King, Rocio Sancho, Sarah Teichmann, Stephen R. Quake, Hiromitsu Nakauchi, S. Tamir Rashid.

Single cell analysis of human foetal liver captures the transcriptional profile of hepatobiliary hybrid progenitors.

Nature Communications, 2019; 10 (1)

Link: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-11266-x

DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-11266-x

Abstract

The liver parenchyma is composed of hepatocytes and bile duct epithelial cells (BECs). Controversy exists regarding the cellular origin of human liver parenchymal tissue generation during embryonic development, homeostasis or repair. Here we report the existence of a hepatobiliary hybrid progenitor (HHyP) population in human foetal liver using single-cell RNA sequencing. HHyPs are anatomically restricted to the ductal plate of foetal liver and maintain a transcriptional profile distinct from foetal hepatocytes, mature hepatocytes and mature BECs. In addition, molecular heterogeneity within the EpCAM+ population of freshly isolated foetal and adult human liver identifies diverse gene expression signatures of hepatic and biliary lineage potential. Finally, we FACS isolate foetal HHyPs and confirm their hybrid progenitor phenotype in vivo. Our study suggests that hepatobiliary progenitor cells previously identified in mice also exist in humans, and can be distinguished from other parenchymal populations, including mature BECs, by distinct gene expression profiles.