Original Articles
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2001. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. Apr 15, 2001; 7(2): 238-242
Published online Apr 15, 2001. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v7.i2.238
Immunohistochemical study of hepatic oval cells in human chronic viral hepatitis
Xiong Ma, De Kai Qiu, Yan Shen Peng
Xiong Ma, De Kai Qiu, Yan Shen Peng, Shanghai Institute of Digestive Diseases, Renji Hospital, Shanghai Second Medical University, Shanghai 200001, China
Xiong Ma, graduated from Shanghai Second Medical University with master degree in 1998, now studying in Shanghai Institute of Digestive Disease for doctoral degree, majoring chronic liver diseases, having 10 papers published.
Author contributions: All authors contributed equally to the work.
Correspondence to: Dr. Xiong Ma, Shanghai Institute of Digestive Diseases, Renji Hospital, 145 Shandong Zhong Road, Shanghai 200001, China. xiongma@netease.com
Telephone: +86-21-63200874 Fax: +86-21-63266027
Received: September 21, 2000
Revised: October 21, 2000
Accepted: October 29, 2000
Published online: April 15, 2001

AIM: To detect immunohistochemically the presence of oval cells in chronic viral hepatitis with antibody against c-kit.

METHODS: We detected oval cells in paraffin embedded liver sections of 3 normal controls and 26 liver samples from patients with chronic viral hepatitis, using immunohistochemistry with antibodies against c-kit, π class glutathione S-transferase (π-GST) and cytokeratins 19 (CK19).

RESULTS: Oval cells were not observed in normal livers. In chronic viral hepatitis, hepatic oval cells were located predominantly in the periportal region and fibrosis septa, characterized by an ovoid nucleus, small size, and scant cytoplasm. Antibody against stem cell factor receptor, c-kit, had higher sensitivity and specificity than π-GST and CK19. About 50%-70% of c-kit positive oval cells were stained positively for either π-GST or CK19.

CONCLUSION: Oval cells are frequently detected in human livers with chronic viral hepatitis, suggesting that oval cell proliferation is asso ciated with the liver regeneration in this condition.

Keywords: hepatitis, viral, human, liver regeneration, oval cell, immunohistochemistry, colony stimulating factors