Résumé : BACKGROUND& AIMS: Embryonic biliary precursor cells form a periportal sheet called the ductal plate, which is progressively remodeled to generate intrahepatic bile ducts. A limited number of ductal plate cells participate in duct formation; those not involved in duct development are believed to involute by apoptosis. Moreover, cells that express the SRY-related HMG box transcription factor 9 (SOX9), which include the embryonic ductal plate cells, were proposed to continuously supply the liver with hepatic cells. We investigated the role of the ductal plate in hepatic morphogenesis.