Isolation, characterization and culture of Thy1-positive cells from fetal rat livers

Zvibel Isabel, Bronstein Miri, Hubel Einav, Bar Lev Ella, Halpern Zamir, Oren Ran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: To investigate Whether Thy1 recognizes oval cells in the fetal liver and to characterize the cultured Thy1-selected cells from E14 rat livers. Methods: Thy1 populations were analyzed by fluorescence activat ed cell sorter analysis. Thy1 positive cells were isolated using magnetic beads. Hepatic markers were detected by Western blotting, immunocytochemistry and RT-PCR. Results: The percentage of Thy1-positive cells decreased during early development of fetal rat liver (E13-E16). E14 fetal livers contained 7.8% Thy1 positive cells, of which 61% were positive for α-fetoprotein (AFP) and 25% expressed albumin. The Thy1+ population expressed oval cell markers c-Kit and CXCR4, liver enriched-transcription factors HNF1α and HNF6, hepatocytic markers albumin, AFP and cytokeratin 18, and biliary marker cytokeratin 19. Thy1- selected cells formed only mesenchymal colonies when plated on collagen and in serum-containing media. Thy1 selected cells were able to form hepatic colonies positive for HNF1α, HNF6, albumin, AFP, cytokeratin 18, cytokeratin 19 and glycogen, when grown on STO feeder layers in serum free-media. Conclusion: Oval cells positive for Thy1 are present in early liver embryonic stages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3841-3847
Number of pages7
JournalWorld Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number24
StatePublished - 28 Jun 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Fetal liver
  • Oval cells
  • Thy1


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