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Deriving Hepatocyte-like Cells from Placental Cells for Transplantation

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Human hepatocyte transplantation is being trialled in lieu of orthotopic liver transplants for patients with acute and chronic liver diseases. Stem cells that can be differentiated into hepatocyte-like cells may replace human hepatocytes that are difficult to source, culture and in critically short supply. Hepatocyte-like cells have been derived from embryonic and adult tissue stem cells using a combination of growth factors and chemical inducers. Stem cells derived from the human placenta have gained interest due to the unlimited supply of placental tissue, minimal issues associated with stem cell retrieval from placental tissue and the large yields of stem cells that can be obtained. Placental stem cells have been characterised and differentiated into hepatocyte-like cells. This review summarises the literature relating to the differentiation of human placental stem cells into hepatocyte-like cells, the characterisation of the differentiated cells, testing the functionality of the hepatocyte-like cells in pre-clinical animal models of liver disease and biomaterials used for culturing and transplantation of these cells into extra-hepatic sites.
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Keywords: Amniotic epithelial cells; Stem cell markers; Wharton's Jelly mesenchymal stromal cells; acute liver failure; amniotic mesenchymal stromal cells; cell surface antigens; hepatocyte characterisation; hepatocyte differentiation; hepatocyte-like cells (HLC)

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2013

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  • Current Stem Cell Research & Therapy publishes frontier reviews on all aspects of basic research on stem cells and their uses in clinical therapy. The journal's aim is to publish the highest quality review articles in the field. The journal is essential reading for all researchers and clinicians involved in stem cells.
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