In Vitro Differentiation of Human Placenta-Derived Multipotent Cells into Hepatocyte-Like Cells

Authors

  • Chih-Cheng Chien,

    1. Cathay Medical Research Institute, Cathay General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
    2. Department of Medicine, Fu-Jen Catholic University, Taipei, Taiwan
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  • Betty Linju Yen,

    1. Stem Cell Research Center, National Health Research Institutes, Taipei, Taiwan
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  • Fa-Kung Lee,

    1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Cathay General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
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  • Tsung-Hsuan Lai,

    1. Cathay Medical Research Institute, Cathay General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
    2. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Cathay General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
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  • Yao-Chang Chen,

    1. Stem Cell Research Center, National Health Research Institutes, Taipei, Taiwan
    2. Department of Forensic Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
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  • Shu-Hui Chan,

    1. Cathay Medical Research Institute, Cathay General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
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  • Hsing-I Huang Ph.D.

    Corresponding author
    1. Cathay Medical Research Institute, Cathay General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
    2. Department of Medicine, Fu-Jen Catholic University, Taipei, Taiwan
    • Cathay Medical Research Institute, Cathay General Hospital, No. 32, Ln 160, Jian-Cheng Road, 22141, Hsi-Chih, Taipei, Taiwan, R.O.C. Telephone: 886-2-26907965, ext. 2312;Fax: 886-2-26907963
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Abstract

Multipotent cells isolated from human term placenta (placenta-derived multipotent cells [PDMCs]) have been known to be able to differentiate into mesodermal lineage cells, including adipocytes and osteoclasts. The low infection rate and young age of placenta compared with other tissue origins of adult stem cells make theses cells attractive target for cell-based therapy. However, the differentiation potential of PDMCs toward hepatic cells has not been evaluated yet. In this study, we cultivated PDMCs with hepatic differentiation medium to evaluate the ability of these cells in differentiating toward hepatic cells. After treatment, the morphologies of differentiated PDMCs changed to polygonal epithelial cell-like. The differentiated cells not only show the hepatocyte-like morphologies but also express hepatocyte-specific markers, including albumin and cytokeratin 18. The bioactivity assays revealed that these hepatocyte-like cells could uptake lipoprotein and store glycogen. Furthermore, the addition of rifampicin increased the gene expression of CYP3A4, which is similar with the activities of human liver cells. According to our previous results, PDMCs were capable of differentiating into mesodermal and ectodermal lineage cells. Our results indicate that PDMCs can differentiate into three germ layer cells, which is similar to embryonic stem cells. In conclusion, placenta might be an easily accessible source for progenitor cells that are capable of differentiating toward hepatocyte-like cells in vitro.

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