Cell Proliferation and Cell Death in the Liver: Patterns, Mechanisms and Measurements

  • Malcolm Alison
  • Matthew Golding
  • Catherine Sarraf
Conference paper
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 88)


Measurements of cell proliferation and cell death in the liver are important in development, normal cell turnover, wound healing and tumour progression. A large literature exists on the subject of cell proliferation, not least because of the feeling that the rate of growth of any human or animal tumour will reflect its subsequent behaviour pattern, though as persuasively illustrated many years ago by Steel (Steel 1977) this need not be the case. Before addressing the techniques it is necessary to consider the proliferative status of the liver. Figure 1 depicts the cell cycle, and the very low proliferative rate in the normal liver strongly suggests that most hepatocytes are in the Go phase. So any stimulus increasing the proliferative rate does so by triggering cells into the cell cycle rather than by shortening the cell cycle of already cycling cells. In young adults at least, there is no evidence that there are any hepatocytes which have terminally differentiated, which would render their re-entry into the cell cycle impossible (Wright and Alison 1984; Alison 1986).


Proliferate Cell Nuclear Antigen Littoral Cell Centrilobular Necrosis Apoptotic Hepatocyte Proliferative Cell Cycle 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Malcolm Alison
  • Matthew Golding
    • 1
  • Catherine Sarraf
    • 1
  1. 1.Deparment of HistopathologyRoyal Postgraduate Medical SchoolLondonUK

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