Danny van der Helm



The interaction of Mesenchymal Stromal Cells (MSC) and regenerating fibrotic livers.

Chronic exposure of the liver to injuring circumstance like chronic alcohol intake or viral hepatitis results in the secretion of multiple mediators that activate diverse cell types, resulting in hepatic fibrogenesis. Key features are the accumulation of myofibroblasts, accompanied by a progressive deposition of extracellular matrix. Primary intervention is limited to the elimination of the injurious stimuli but no real treatment exists that eliminate or reverse the fibrotic process.

Previous studies have shown that bone marrow derived MSCs  are able to prevent carbon tetrachloride induced fibrosis in mice. MSCs are stromal cells which can be isolated form different tissues. These cells are known to work immunosuppressive and also play a role in tissue repair and regeneration.  

In this research theme we study the behaviour of MSCs in regenerating fibrotic livers in in-vivo and in-vitro models. Furthermore we study the differences between potential different MSC populations (selected on VCAM and Endoglin expression), and the use of fibroblasts. In a related research project we developed a zebrafish embryo model to study  liver fibrogenesis and the behaviour of MSCs in this model.



Leids Universitair Medisch Centrum
Gebouw 1

Albinusdreef 2
2333 ZA Leiden

Postbus 9600
2300 RC Leiden