Morphological and microarray analyses of human hepatocytes from xenogeneic host livers.

C. Tateno*, F. Miya, K. Wake, M. Kataoka, Y. Ishida, C. Yamasaki, A. Yanagi, M. Kakuni, E. Eddie Wisse, F.K. Verheyen, K. Inoue, K. Sato, A. Kudo, S. Arii, T. Itamoto, T. Asahara, T. Tsunoda, K. Yoshizato

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


We previously produced mice with human hepatocyte (h-hep) chimeric livers by transplanting h-heps into albumin enhancer/promoter-driven urokinase-type plasminogen activator-transgenic severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mice with liver disease. The chimeric livers were constructed with h-heps, mouse hepatocytes, and mouse hepatic sinusoidal cells (m-HSCs). Here, we investigated the morphological features of the chimeric livers and the h-hep gene expression profiles in the xenogeneic animal body. To do so, we performed immunohistochemistry, morphometric analyses, and electron microscopic observations on chimeric mouse livers, and used microarray analyses to compare gene expression patterns in hepatocytes derived from chimeric mouse hepatocytes (c-heps) and h-heps. Morphometric analysis revealed that the ratio of hepatocytes to m-HSCs in the chimeric mouse livers were twofold higher than those in the SCID mouse livers, corresponding to twin-cell plates in the chimeric mouse liver. The h-heps in the chimeric mouse did not show hypoxia even in the twin-cell plate structure, probably because of low oxygen consumption by the h-heps relative to the mouse hepatocytes (m-heps). Immunohistochemical and electron microscopic examinations revealed that the sinusoids in the chimeric mouse livers were normally constructed with h-heps and m-HSCs. However, a number of microvilli projected into the intercellular clefts on the lateral aspects of the hepatocytes, features typical of a growth phase. Microarray profiles indicated that similar to 82% of 16 605 probes were within a twofold range difference between h-heps and c-heps. Cluster and principal component analyses showed that the gene expression patterns of c-heps were extremely similar to those of h-heps. In conclusion, the chimeric mouse livers were normally reconstructed with h-heps and m-HSCs, and expressed most human genes at levels similar to those in human livers, although the chimeric livers showed morphological characteristics typical of growth. Laboratory Investigation (2013) 93, 54-71; doi:10.1038/labinvest.2012.158; published online 12 November 2012

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-71
Number of pages18
JournalLaboratory Investigation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


  • human hepatocytes
  • microarray
  • ultrastructure
  • uPA/SCID mouse
  • FLOW

Cite this