The mechanism underlying the immunological advantage of hepatic allografts relative to other organs is incompletely understood. We used molecular probes for the repetitive units on the Y chromosome, to identify an increasing number of male liver venous endothelial cells in needle biopsy samples of men who received female donor liver grafts. We have also shown repopulation of liver endothelium by bone marrow derived cells in a male to female mouse bone marrow transplant model. We conclude that the liver has unique venous endothelium characterised by turnover and replacement by bone marrow derived cells.
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