Noha M Abd El Fadel, Nagwan A Sabek, Taghrid B El Abaseri and Emad F Ismail
Suez Canal University, Egypt
Posters & Accepted Abstracts: J Tissue Sci Eng
Background: The liver is a central multifunctional organ in our body. Hepatocyte dysfunction induced by viral hepatitis and cirrhosis may progress to liver failure. Stem cells (SCs) based therapy is a promising technique for the treatment of liver diseases. Umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells (UC MSCs) do not express the major histocompatibility complex class II antigens, thus they are potentially favorable SCs source for liver transplantation. Aim: The aim of our study was to investigate the in vitro hepatic differentiation potential of umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells. Methods: MSCs were cultured and induced to differentiate under pro-hepatogenic conditions using mainly hepatic growth factor (HGF) and fibroblastic growth factor. Differentiated hepatocyte-like cells were investigated based on three main criteria including its morphology, expression of hepatocyte-specific genes, and specific functionality. Results: After 21 days of treatment, the differentiated cells acquired hepatocytes-like oval shape. Using reverse transcriptasepolymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), the expression of hepatocyte-specific genes including albumin (ALB), α-fetoprotein (AFP) and cytokeratin-18 significantly increased in differentiated UC-MSCs compared to control untreated cells (P<0.05). In addition, levels of albumin and AFP in the culture media showed a three folds increase in differentiated cells compared to control cells. Conclusion: We conclude that this protocol for the in vitro differentiation of UC MSCs produced viable functional hepatocytes. Our future goal is to test the in vivo effectiveness in treating end-stage liver diseases.
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