BACKGROUND: The capability of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSC) derived of adult bone marrow to undergo in vitro hepatic differentiation was investigated. RESULTS: Exposure of hMSC to a cocktail of hepatogenic factors [(fibroblast growth factor-4 (FGF-4), hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), insulin-transferrin-sodium-selenite (ITS) and dexamethasone)] failed to induce hepatic differentiation. Sequential exposure to these factors (FGF-4, followed by HGF, followed by HGF+ITS+dexamethasone), however, resembling the order of secretion during liver embryogenesis, induced both glycogen-storage and cytokeratin (CK)18 expression. Additional exposure of the cells to trichostatin A (TSA) considerably improved endodermal differentiation, as evidenced by acquisition of an epithelial morphology, chronological expression of hepatic proteins, including hepatocyte-nuclear factor (HNF)-3beta, alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), CK18, albumin (ALB), HNF1alpha, multidrug resistance-associated protein (MRP)2 and CCAAT-enhancer binding protein (C/EBP)alpha, and functional maturation, i.e. upregulated ALB secretion, urea production and inducible cytochrome P450 (CYP)-dependent activity. CONCLUSION: hMSC are able to undergo mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition. TSA is hereby essential to promote differentiation of hMSC towards functional hepatocyte-like cells.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-39
Number of pages15
JournalBMC Developmental Biology
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2007

    Research areas

  • trichostatin A, human mesenchymal stem cells, adult bone marrow, fibroblast growth factor-4, hepatocyte growth factor, insulin-transferrin-sodium-selenite, dexamethasone

ID: 1586043