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Stem Cells International
Volume 2016, Article ID 7920897, 9 pages
Review Article

Advances in Liver Regeneration: Revisiting Hepatic Stem/Progenitor Cells and Their Origin

1Institute of Medical Science, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada M5S 1A8
2Sunnybrook Research Institute, Toronto, ON, Canada M4N 3M5
3Ross Tilley Burn Centre, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada M4N 3M5

Received 1 July 2015; Accepted 2 September 2015

Academic Editor: Pavla Jendelova

Copyright © 2016 Ali-Reza Sadri et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The liver has evolved to become a highly plastic organ with extraordinary regenerative capabilities. What drives liver regeneration is still being debated. Adult liver stem/progenitor cells have been characterized and used to produce functional hepatocytes and biliary cells in vitro. However, in vivo, numerous studies have questioned whether hepatic progenitor cells have a significant role in liver regeneration. Mature hepatocytes have recently been shown to be more plastic than previously believed and give rise to new hepatocytes after acute and chronic injury. In this review, we discuss current knowledge in the field of liver regeneration and the importance of the serotonin pathway as a clinical target for patients with liver dysfunction.