ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-210306-2
Contributions of biliary epithelial cells to hepatocyte homeostasis and regeneration in zebrafish
Zhang, W., Chen, J., Ni, R., Yang, Q., Luo, L., He, J.
Date: 2021
Source: iScience   24: 102142 (Journal)
Registered Authors: He, Jianbo, Luo, Lingfei
Keywords: cellular biology, cellular physiology, developmental biology
MeSH Terms: none
PubMed: 33665561 Full text @ iScience
Whether transdifferentiation of the biliary epithelial cells (BECs) to hepatocytes occurs under physiological conditions and contributes to liver homeostasis remains under long-term debate. Similar questions have been raised under pathological circumstances if a fibrotic liver is suffered from severe injuries. To address these questions in zebrafish, we established a sensitive lineage tracing system specific for the detection of BEC-derived hepatocytes. The BEC-to-hepatocyte transdifferentiation occurred and became minor contributors to hepatocyte homeostasis in a portion of adult individuals. The BEC-derived hepatocytes distributed in clusters in the liver. When a fibrotic liver underwent extreme hepatocyte damages, BEC-to-hepatocyte transdifferentiation acted as the major origin of regenerating hepatocytes. In contrast, partial hepatectomy failed to induce the BEC-to-hepatocyte conversion. In conclusion, based on a sensitive lineage tracing system, our results suggest that BECs are able to transdifferentiate into hepatocytes and contribute to both physiological hepatocyte homeostasis and pathological regeneration.