The liver is one of the only organs able to significantly regenerate itself after injury and can even recover after half of itself is removed, but the ability of hepatocytes to restore lost tissue is not total. For patients with severe liver failure, their best option for recovery is often a transplant, but available organs can be limited and some patients are unsuitable for the operation.
In individuals with liver failure, these hepatocytes often show signs of senescence and are unable to form new, healthy tissue. In an effort to trigger regeneration in these cases, scientists took suitable stem cells from the biliary duct and injected them into damaged livers in mice. This ‘cell transplant’ was able to virtually completely regenerate the organ, providing hope that similar treatment in humans could circumvent immune rejection issues and the need for a significant operation, or a donor.
Read more at BBC News