Semin Liver Dis 2021; 41(03): 321-330
DOI: 10.1055/s-0041-1729970
Review Article

Toward a Liver Cell Atlas: Understanding Liver Biology in Health and Disease at Single-Cell Resolution

Lichun Ma
1  Laboratory of Human Carcinogenesis, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland
,
Subreen Khatib
1  Laboratory of Human Carcinogenesis, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland
,
Amanda J. Craig
1  Laboratory of Human Carcinogenesis, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland
,
Xin Wei Wang
1  Laboratory of Human Carcinogenesis, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland
2  Liver Cancer Program, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland
› Author Affiliations
Funding This work was supported by grants (ZIA BC 010877, ZIA BC 010876, ZIA BC 010313, and ZIA BC 011870) from the Intramural Research Program of the Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute of the United States.

Abstract

Single-cell technologies are revolutionizing our understanding of cellular heterogeneity and functional diversity in health and disease. Here, we review the current knowledge and advances in liver biology using single-cell approaches. We focus on the landscape of the composition and the function of cells in a healthy liver in the context of its spatial organization. We also highlight the alterations of the molecular landscape in chronic liver disease and liver cancer, which includes the identification of disease-related cell types, altered cellular functions, dynamic cell–cell interactions, the plasticity of malignant cells, the collective behavior of a cell community, and microenvironmental reprogramming. We anticipate that the uncovered liver cell atlas will help deciphering the molecular and cellular mechanisms driving a healthy liver into a disease state. It also offers insight into the detection of new therapeutic targets and paves the way for effective disease interventions.

Authors' Contributions

L.M. and X.W.W. designed the study. L.M., S.K., A.J.C., and X.W.W. performed literature search and wrote the manuscript. L.M. generated the artwork. All authors read, edited, and approved the manuscript.


Declaration of Interests

The authors declare no competing interests.




Publication History

Publication Date:
15 June 2021 (online)

© 2021. Thieme. All rights reserved.

Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc.
333 Seventh Avenue, 18th Floor, New York, NY 10001, USA