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Liver repopulation and regeneration: new approaches to old questions

Duncan, Andrew W.a,b; Soto-Gutierrez, Alejandroa,b,c,d

Current Opinion in Organ Transplantation: April 2013 - Volume 18 - Issue 2 - p 197–202
doi: 10.1097/MOT.0b013e32835f07e2

Purpose of review Significant recent developments have occurred in the field of liver regeneration. Although the regenerative response to partial hepatectomy has been studied extensively, in recent years the use of new experimental approaches has incorporated a fresh look that may lead to a better understanding of hepatocyte dysfunction and regeneration.

Recent findings Liver injury promotes the regenerative responses that are relatively rare in healthy livers. Current research efforts focus on the mechanisms of hepatocyte adaptation in response to liver injury. We will discuss how hepatic aneuploidy and polyploidy contributes to liver regeneration, as well as new modalities to study cellular interactions using the organ-specific microenvironment.

Summary High mortality is generally limited to patients who develop terminal liver failure, which occurs when regenerative responses are unable to compensate for liver injury. Cellular adaptations and organ microenvironment changes are present during disease processes. This review aims to provide insights into the innovative approaches taken to investigate regeneration in liver diseases.

aDepartment of Pathology

bMcGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine

cThomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute, University of Pittsburgh

dTransplantation Section of Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, Department of Surgery, Center for Innovative Regenerative Therapies, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

Correspondence to Alejandro Soto-Gutierrez, MD, PhD, Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh, 3511 Rangos Research Building, 530 45th Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15201, USA. Tel: +1 412 692 5562; fax: +1 412 692 6599; e-mail: And/or Andrew W. Duncan, PhD, Department of Pathology, McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, 450 Technology Drive, Suite 300, Pittsburgh, PA 15219, USA. Tel: +1 412 624 5302; fax: +1 412 624 5363; e-mail:

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.