Liver Tissues Can Regrow: Is It True?

The liver is the only organ that can heal itself after being damaged. Even after 90% of the liver has been removed, it can return to normal size.

Is The Liver Invincible?

The liver is not invincible. Many diseases and exposures can damage it beyond repair. Cancer, hepatitis, certain pharmaceutical overdoses, and fatty liver disease are examples.

Around 7,000 people in the United States yearly have a liver transplant. Many others in need are unable to obtain a donor organ in time.

Researchers hope to improve the liver’s inherent ability to mend itself. However, the particular types of cells within the liver that undertake such repair and their location within the liver have been debated.


Some research has suggested that stem cells can generate new liver cells. Others have suggested that normal liver cells, known as hepatocytes, are involved.

What Is The Composition Of Our Liver?

The liver is made up of repeated structures known as lobules. Each lobule is divided into three zones. Zone 1 is near where the blood supply enters the lobule.

Zone 3 is the nearest to the point where it drains back out. Zone 2 is smack dab in the middle. While hepatocytes in zones 1 and 3 create metabolic enzymes, the role of those in zone 2 is less apparent.

A research team led by Dr. Hao Zhu from the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern Medical Center utilized 14 different lines of mice, 11 of which they developed for the new study, to explore liver cells more precisely.

Different groupings of liver cells in each mouse line were modified to express a fluorescent marker. These cells could then be tracked over time, before and after different liver sections were damaged.

What Does The Study Suggest?

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), and the National Cancer Institute all contributed to the study’s funding (NCI). The findings were reported in Science on February 26, 2021.

Zhu and his colleagues discovered that normal hepatocytes, not stem cells, did the majority of the job of normal liver maintenance in zone 2. They divided to replace liver cells that had reached the end of their normal lifespan in all zones.

When toxins damaged the liver, the researchers discovered that normal hepatocytes from zone 2 proliferated to replace harmed tissue in zones 1 and 3. Cells from zone 1 might be detected in zone 3 after cells from zone 3 were injured, and vice versa. These data reveal that the location of the damage influences which hepatocytes aid in recovery after liver injury.

Where Does The Cell-Signaling Mechanism Appear?

According to subsequent research, a unique cell-signaling mechanism induces zone 2 liver cells to repopulate injured tissue. When the researchers disabled certain portions of this system, the cells in zone 2 could not multiply.

What Are The Other Researches On This Issue?

A second study team from the Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology published identical results using a different method for identifying new liver cells’ beginnings in the same Science issue.

“It makes sense that cells in zone 2, which are protected from toxic damage impacting either end of the lobule, would be in a perfect position to regenerate the liver. “However, additional research is required to comprehend the many cell types in the human liver,” Zhu says.

Understanding how this regeneration works in greater depth may lead to novel therapy techniques to aid in healing a damaged liver.

In this article, we have learned it is true that liver tissues can regrow. To know more about such answers, follow this website.

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