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12.12.2018 | Original Article | Ausgabe 3/2019

Virchows Archiv 3/2019

Donor-derived hepatocytes in human hematopoietic cell transplant recipients: evidence of fusion

Zeitschrift:
Virchows Archiv > Ausgabe 3/2019
Autoren:
David Myerson, Rachael K. Parkin
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The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s00428-018-2497-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Abstract

Reconstitution of hepatocytes by hematopoietic stem cells—a phenomenon which occurs in rodents under highly selective conditions—results from infrequent fusion between incoming myelomonocytes and host hepatocytes, with subsequent proliferation. Human hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients have been little studied, with some support for transdifferentiation (direct differentiation). We studied routinely obtained autopsy liver tissue of four female hematopoietic cell transplant recipients with male donors, using a highly specific conjoint immunohistochemistry in situ hybridization light microscopic technique. Hepatocyte nuclei were identified by cytokeratin (Cam5.2) staining and evaluated for X and Y chromosome content. Over 1.6 million hepatocytes were assessed for rare instances of donor origin, revealing a Y chromosome in 67. Mixed tetraploids (XXXY) and their nuclear truncation products (XXY, XY, Y) were directly demonstrated, with no detection of the male tetraploids (XXYY) that may result from transdifferentiation with subsequent tetraploidization, nor their unique truncation products (XYY, YY), implicating fusion as the mechanism. To determine whether it is the sole mechanism, we modeled the chromosome distribution based on the same probability of detection of each X chromosome, deriving parameters of sensitivity and female tetraploidy by best fit. We then hypothesized that the distribution of Y chromosome–containing cells could be predicted by a similar model. After modification to account for “clumpy” Y chromosomes, the observed results were in accord with the predicted results (p = 0.6). These results suggest that all the Y-containing cells, including apparent XY cells, derive from mixed tetraploids, consistent with fusion as the sole mechanism.

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