Embryonic mouse STO cell-derived xenografts express hepatocytic functions in the livers of nonimmunosuppressed adult rats

Mingjun Zhang, Brigid Joseph, Sanjeev Gupta, I. Guest, Meng Xu, Stewart Sell, Kyung Hwa Son, Katherine S. Koch, Hyam L. Leffert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Cells derived from embryonic mouse STO cell lines differentiate into hepatocytes when transplanted into the livers of nonimmunosuppressed dipeptidylpeptidase IV (DPPIV)-negative F344 rats. Within 1 day after intrasplenic injection, donor cells moved rapidly into the liver and were found in intravascular and perivascular sites; by 1 month, they were intrasinusoidal and also integrated into hepatic plates with approximately 2% efficiency and formed conjoint bile canaliculi. Neither donor cell proliferation nor host inflammatory responses were observed during this time. Detection of intrahepatic mouse COX1 mitochondrial DNA and mouse albumin mRNA in recipient rats indicated survival and differentiation of donor cells for at least 3 months. Mouse COX1 targets were also detected intrahepatically 4-9 weeks after STO cell injection into nonimmunosuppressed wild-type rats. In contrast to STO-transplanted rats, mouse DNA or RNA was not detectable in untreated or mock-transplanted rats or in rats injected with donor cell DNA. In cultured STO donor cells, DPPIV and glucose-6-phosphatase activities were observed in small clusters; in contrast, mouse major histocompatibility complex class I H-2Kq, H-2D q, and H-2Lq and class II I-Aq markers were undetectable in vitro before or after interferon gamma treatment. Together with H-2K allele typing, which confirmed the Swiss mouse origin of the donor cells, these observations indicate that mouse-derived STO cell lines can differentiate along hepatocytic lineage and engraft into rat liver across major histocompatibility barriers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)186-199
Number of pages14
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2005


  • Mouse STO progenitor cells
  • Nonimmunosuppressed rats
  • Xenotransplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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