Biology and pathobiology of the hepatic progenitor cell niche.

  • Geerts, Albert (Co-Promotor)
  • van Grunsven, Leo (Administrative Promotor)
  • Vankelecom, Hugo (Co-Promotor)
  • Leclercq, Isabelle (Co-Promotor)
  • Roskams, Tania (Co-Promotor)

Project Details


Many adult mammalian tissues contain adult somatic progenitor cells (ASPCs) located in specialized micro-environments (local adult progenitor cell niches), that contain several cell types (ASPCs, 'transit amplifying' cells, non-stem niche cells) in contact with a specialized extracellular matrix. In the liver, canals of Hering (CoH), that connect to the terminal bile ducts (TBD) act as microscopic progenitor cell niches. CoH and TBD originate in the embryo from the endodermal cell layer of the ductal plates. These plates contain mesenchymal cells at both sides. Some of these endodermal and mesenchymal cells retain progenitor cell features througout the embryonal and postnatal develoment.

In chronic human liver diseases as well as in many experimental animal models of liver disease, hepatocytes ari in a condition of replicative senescence. Progenitor cells try to compensate by proliferation and differentiation into new hepatocytes. the enhanced and prolonged stimulation of liver progenitor cells increases the probability for malignancy. insight into the liver prognitor cell compartment will improve out understanding of the pathogenesis of many liver diseases and the ontogenesis of liver concers. At the therapeutical level, better knowledge of the liver progenitor cell compartiment could lead to autologous or allogeneic cell transplantation, an to treatment of chronic liver diseases via stimulation of proliferation of local progenitor cells.

Effective start/end date1/01/08 → 31/12/11


  • cells

Flemish discipline codes in use since 2023

  • Basic sciences


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