Side-population (SP) cells have been shown to be highly enriched stem cells. We investigated whether an immortalized, nontumorigenic human liver cell line, THLE-5b, contains SP cells. Flow cytometry analysis after Hoechst 33342 staining demonstrated that the THLE-5b line contained a small component of SP cells. These SP cells were essentially eliminated by treatment with verap-amil and expressed higher levels of ABCG2 mRNA than non-SP cells. In addition, the level of these SP cells detected by Hoechst 33342 staining was affected by the experimental conditions including the incubation medium. This is the first report of the presence of SP cells in the immortalized, nontumorigenic human liver cell line.
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Vol. 44 • No. 1