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Open Access Hepatic Differentiation of Mouse iPS Cells In Vitro

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Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells are pluripotent and are able to unlimitedly proliferate in vitro. This technical breakthrough in creating iPS cells from somatic cells has noteworthy implications for overcoming the immunological rejection and the ethical issues associated with the derivation of embryonic stem cells from embryos. In the current work, we present an efficient hepatic differentiation of mouse iPS cells in vitro. iPS cells were cultured free floating to induce the formation of embryoid bodies (EB) for 5 days. EB were transferred to a gelatin-coated plate and treated with 100 ng/ml activin A and 100 ng/ml basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) for 3 days to induce definitive endoderm. Cells were further cultured for 8 days with 100 ng/ml hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) to generate hepatocytes. Characterization was performed by RT-PCR assay. Functional analysis for albumin secretion and ammonia removal was also carried out. iPS cell-derived hepatocyte-like cells (iPS-Heps) were obtained at the end of the differentiation program. Expression levels of a gestational hepatocyte gene and lineage-specific hepatic genes intensified in iPS-Heps. The production of albumin increased in a time-dependent manner. iPS-Heps were capable of metabolizing ammonia. We present here instant hepatic differentiation of mouse iPS cells using combined 3-day treatments of activin A and bFGF with subsequent 8-day HGF. Our study will be an important step to generate hepatocytes from human iPS cells as a new source for liver-targeted cell therapies.

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Keywords: Hepatic differentiation; Hepatocytes; Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry, and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Okayama, Japan

Publication date: 2010-06-01

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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.

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