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Instant Hepatic Differentiation of Human Embryonic Stem Cells Using Activin A and a Deleted Variant of HGF

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Human embryonic stem (hES) cells have the ability to differentiate into a variety of different cell lineages and potentially provide a source of differentiated cells for many therapeutic uses. Here we investigated an efficient method of hepatic differentiation from hES cells. A human ES cell line, KhES-1, was used and maintained by a nonfeeder method. KhES-1 cells were cultured for 5 days in the presence of human activin A (50 ng/ml) and then treated with a deleted variant of hepatocyte growth factor (dHGF) at 0, 100, or 500 ng/ml for 7 days. The resultant cells were biologically analyzed. The expression of the endodermal genes SOX17 and FOXA2 increased in KhES-1 cells after activin A treatment. In contrast, Oct4, a self-renewal undifferentiated marker, decreased in a time-dependent manner in KhES-1 cells. Following a 7-day treatment of the resultant cells with dHGF, especially at 500 ng/ml, KhES-1 cells showed an expression of the hepatic makers albumin, AFP, and CK18. Transitional electron microscopy showed well-developed glycogen rosettes and a gap junction in KhES-1 cells treated with 500 ng/ml of dHGF. We developed an efficient method to differentiate KhES-1 cells into hepatocyte-like cells in vitro using 50 ng/ml of activin A and 500 ng/ml of dHGF.
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Keywords: Differentiation; Hepatocyte; Hepatocyte growth factor; hES cells

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Surgery, Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine and Dentistry, Okayama 700-8558, Japan 2: Department of Surgery, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198-3285, USA

Publication date: 2006-10-01

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

    Cell Transplantation is now being published by SAGE. Please visit their website for the most recent issues.

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