Stem Cells and Progenitors in the Developing Liver

Stem Cells and Progenitors in the Developing Liver

Marcus Muench
ISBN: 9781615044887 | PDF ISBN: 9781615044894
Copyright © 2012 | 126 Pages | Publication Date: 12/01/2012

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The human liver is a dynamic organ throughout life, but no more so than during prenatal development. The liver performs many essential functions associated with metabolism, immunity and blood production. These diverse functions are performed by a variety of cell types that have the capacity for growth, allowing the liver to regenerate cells lost due to aging, infection or injury. Various stem cell populations are at the core of the liver's potential for regeneration, which are most active during embryonic and fetal development, when the liver undergoes rapid growth. Consequently, the prenatal liver represents a unique opportunity to study the precursor cells that give rise to all liver cells at their time of greatest activity. Herein, we focus on the early development of the human liver from the perspective of the stem cells and their many lines of progeny that generate the hepatic, endothelial, mesenchymal and hematopoietic cells that comprise the fetal liver. Understanding the developmental relationships, growth control and cellular interactions among these cells is crucial to our understanding of liver development and function during prenatal life. This knowledge also provides insight into the development of cellular therapies, transplantation and the treatment of cancers.

Table of Contents

Development of the Liver
Structure of the Liver
Cell Isolation Methods
Precursors of Hepatocytes and Cholangiocytes
Endothelial Cells
Mesenchymal Cells
Stellate Cells
Hematopoietic Cells
Transplantation of Fetal Liver Cells
Author Biography

About the Author(s)

Marcus Muench, Blood Systems Research Institute
Marcus O. Muench, Ph.D., is a Senior Scientist at Blood Systems Research Institute and Associate Professor at the University of California San Francisco, Department of Laboratory Medicine. He received his Ph.D. at Joan and Sanford I. Weill Medical College of Cornell University in 1992 for studies on the cytokine regulation of hematopoiesis and ex vivo expansion of hematopoietic precursors, work performed in the laboratory of Dr. Malcolm A. S. Moore. His postdoctoral training was at DNAX Research Institute in Palo Alto, CA in the laboratory of Drs. Maria-Grazia Roncarolo and Reiko Namikawa, where he studied cytokine regulation of fetal hematopoiesis. Dr. Muench joined the faculty of University of California at San Francisco in 1995. He was awarded an NIH Research Career Development Award in 2001 and was admitted as a member of the University of California San Francisco Liver Center in 2005. Dr. Muench joined Blood Systems Research Institute in 2006 where he continues to study the development of the human liver and creation of novel cellular therapies to treat birth defects.

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