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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

No evidence of maternal cell colonization in reverted liver nodules of tyrosinemia type I patients.

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Hereditary tyrosinemia type I (HTI) is a recessively inherited disease caused by a deficiency of fumarylacetoacetate hydrolase ( FAH), the last enzyme of the tyrosine catabolic pathway. The mosaic pattern of FAH expression observed in the livers of >85% of studied patients was shown to result from the correction of the mutation in one of the FAH alleles. Bilateral cell trafficking can occur between mother and fetus and such an event could be responsible for the chimerism observed in some diseases. It also has been reported that the liver repopulation observed in a HTI murine model by serial transplantation of bone marrow-derived cells was caused by a fusion of these cells to host hepatocytes. These observations led us to test the possibility that the transfer of nucleated heterozygous maternal cells in the fetal circulation could be responsible for the mosaic liver expression of FAH in HTI patients. METHODS: We used polymorphic markers of short cytosine-adenine DNA repeats to compare DNA from corrected liver sections of 4 HTI patients with DNA from their parents' blood. RESULTS: Genotyping showed that only one maternal allele is present in DNA isolated from FAH-expressing liver nodules of each proband for at least 1 marker. CONCLUSIONS: The corrected liver nodules in HTI patients are not of maternal origin and do not support cell trafficking and cell fusion as mechanisms of correction of the gene defect in hepatocytes of tyrosinemia patients.[1]


  1. No evidence of maternal cell colonization in reverted liver nodules of tyrosinemia type I patients. Bergeron, A., Lettre, F., Russo, P., Morissette, J., Tanguay, R.M. Gastroenterology (2004) [Pubmed]
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