Porcine hepatocytes are potentially important in liver regeneration and in the treatment of humans with acute and chronic liver diseases. Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells are a valuable source of hepatocytes for these applications as they have unlimited potential to propagate in vitro. An efficient and robust differentiation of iPS cells generated from porcine fetal fibroblasts into functional hepatocyte-like cells in vitro is reported. The methodology followed a three-step differentiation protocol using several growth factors, namely, activin A, basic fibroblast growth factor, bone morphogenetic protein-4, and oncostatin M. Porcine iPS cell-derived hepatocyte-like (piPS-Hep) cells were characterized by morphological analysis and were tested for the expression of hepatocyte-specific genes using RT-PCR. Functional analyses for albumin production and glycogen storage were also carried out. These differentiated hepatocyte-like cells could represent a valuable source for studies of drug metabolism and for cell transplantation therapy for a variety of liver disorders.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank Dr. Scott Fahrenkrug for porcine fetal fibroblasts, Dr. Neil Talbot for STO-feeder cells and primary porcine hepatocytes, and Phillip Wong for assistance with the RT-PCR studies. This work was supported by the start-up funds from the Department of Radiology to R.N.A.
Copyright 2014 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.
- Stem cell