Previous studies had shown that mesenchymal stem cells from human bone marrow have the potential to differentiate into hepatocyte-like cells in vitro and continue to maintain essential hepatocyte functions after being transplanted into host mouse livers. After HBV infection, the humanized mice developed specific immune and inflammatory responses and showed progression to chronic hepatitis and liver cirrhosis, providing opportunities for better understanding the immune pathophysiology of HBV and testing promising antiviral therapies in vivo. According to WHO, an estimated 257 million people are living with HBV infection, and over 100 million among them in China.

CAS news release, February 12, 2019