BACKGROUND: The endothelium lines blood and lymph vessels and protects underlying tissues against external agents such as viruses, bacteria and parasites. Yet, microbes and particularly viruses have developed sophisticated ways to bypass the endothelium in order to gain access to inner organs. De novo infection of the liver parenchyma by many viruses and notably hepatitis viruses, is thought to occur through recruitment of virions on the sinusoidal endothelial surface and subsequent transfer to the epithelium. Furthermore, the liver endothelium undergoes profound changes with age and in inflammation or infection. However, primary human liver sinusoidal endothelial cells (LSECs) are difficult to obtain due to scarcity of liver resections. Relevant derived cell lines are needed in order to analyze in a standardized fashion the transfer of pathogens across the liver endothelium. By lentiviral transduction with hTERT only, we have immortalized human LSECs isolated from a hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) patient and established the non-transformed cell line TRP3. TRP3 express mesenchymal, endothelial and liver sinusoidal markers. Functional assessment of TRP3 cells demonstrated a high capacity of endocytosis, tube formation and reactivity to immune stimulation. However, TRP3 displayed few fenestrae and expressed C-type lectins intracellularly. All these findings were confirmed in the original primary LSECs from which TRP3 were derived suggesting that these features were already present in the liver donor. We consider TRP3 as a model to investigate the functionality of the liver endothelium in hepatic inflammation in infection.
Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. (Biochemical and biophysical research communications)
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