Adipose tissue-derived stem cells as a regenerative therapy for a mouse steatohepatitis-induced cirrhosis model


  • Potential conflict of interest: Nothing to report.

  • Supported in part by subsidies from the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.

Address reprint requests to: Shuichi Kaneko, 13-1 Takara-machi, Kanazawa, Ishikawa 920-8641, Japan. E-mail:; fax: +81-76-234-4250.


Cirrhosis is a chronic liver disease that impairs hepatic function and causes advanced fibrosis. Mesenchymal stem cells have gained recent popularity as a regenerative therapy since they possess immunomodulatory functions. We found that injected adipose tissue-derived stem cells (ADSCs) reside in the liver. Injection of ADSCs also restores albumin expression in hepatic parenchymal cells and ameliorates fibrosis in a nonalcoholic steatohepatitis model of cirrhosis in mice. Gene expression analysis of the liver identifies up- and down-regulation of genes, indicating regeneration/repair and anti-inflammatory processes following ADSC injection. ADSC treatment also decreases the number of intrahepatic infiltrating CD11b+ and Gr-1+ cells and reduces the ratio of CD8+/CD4+ cells in hepatic inflammatory cells. This is consistent with down-regulation of genes in hepatic inflammatory cells related to antigen presentation and helper T-cell activation. Conclusion: These results suggest that ADSC therapy is beneficial in cirrhosis, as it can repair and restore the function of the impaired liver. (Hepatology 2013;53:1133–1142)