The promotion of hepatic maturation of human pluripotent stem cells in 3D co-culture using type I collagen and Swiss 3T3 cell sheets.
ABSTRACT Hepatocyte-like cells differentiated from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) or human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) are known to be a useful cell source for drug screening. We recently developed an efficient hepatic differentiation method from hESCs and hiPSCs by sequential transduction of FOXA2 and HNF1α. It is known that the combination of three-dimensional (3D) culture and co-culture, namely 3D co-culture, can maintain the functions of primary hepatocytes. However, hepatic maturation of hESC- or hiPSC-derived hepatocyte-like cells (hEHs or hiPHs, respectively) by 3D co-culture systems has not been examined. Therefore, we utilized a cell sheet engineering technology to promote hepatic maturation. The gene expression levels of hepatocyte-related markers (such as cytochrome P450 enzymes and conjugating enzymes) and the amount of albumin secretion in the hEHs or hiPHs, which were 3D co-cultured with the Swiss 3T3 cell sheet, were significantly up-regulated in comparison with those in the hEHs or hiPHs cultured in a monolayer. Furthermore, we found that type I collagen synthesized in Swiss 3T3 cells plays an important role in hepatic maturation. The hEHs or hiPHs that were 3D co-cultured with the Swiss 3T3 cell sheet would be powerful tools for medical applications, such as drug screening.
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ABSTRACT: Recently, significant developments in the field of liver tissue engineering have raised new possibilities for the study of complex physiological and pathophysiological processes in vitro, as well as the potential to assemble entire organs for transplantation. Human-induced pluripotent stem cells have been differentiated into relatively functional populations of hepatic cells, and novel techniques to generate whole organ acellular three-dimensional scaffolds have been developed. In this review, we highlight the most recent advances in organ assembly regarding the development of liver tissue in vitro. We emphasize applications that involve multiple types of cells with a biomimetic spatial organization for which three-dimensional configurations could be used for drug development or to explain mechanisms of disease. We also discuss applications of liver organotypic surrogates and the challenges of translating the highly promising new field of tissue engineering into a proven platform for predicting drug metabolism and toxicity.American Journal Of Pathology 12/2013; · 4.52 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) could provide a major window into human developmental biology, because the differentiation methods from hESCs mimic human embryogenesis. We previously reported that the overexpression of hematopoietically expressed homeobox (HHEX) in the hESC-derived definitive endoderm (DE) cells markedly promotes hepatic specification. However, it remains unclear how HHEX functions in this process. To reveal the molecular mechanisms of hepatic specification by HHEX, we tried to identify the genes directly targeted by HHEX. We found that HHEX knockdown considerably enhanced the expression level of eomesodermin (EOMES). In addition, HHEX bound to the HHEX response element located in the first intron of EOMES. Loss-of-function assays of EOMES showed that the gene expression levels of hepatoblast markers were significantly upregulated, suggesting that EOMES has a negative role in hepatic specification from the DE cells. Furthermore, EOMES exerts its effects downstream of HHEX in hepatic specification from the DE cells. In conclusion, the present results suggest that HHEX promotes hepatic specification by repressing EOMES expression.PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(3):e90791. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The liver is one of the most complex organs in the body, performing a multitude of functions. Liver tissue engineering is a combination of various strategies that aim at generating functional liver tissue that can help restore and/or support the ailing liver as it recuperates. Conventionally, in vitro culture has involved growing cells in different media compositions or layering them on matrices largely composed of native ECM components such as collagen or Matrigel. With recent advances in technology, more sophisticated techniques are being devised that are better equipped to capture distinct features of the liver in an in vivo microenvironment. Three-dimensional (3D) cultures of liver cells in 3D scaffolds, as spheroids or cell sheets, allow for a high degree of cell-cell and cell-matrix interaction and an in vivo-like architecture. More recently, decellularized matrices have been used as scaffolds that support ideal cell-matrix interactions. Microfabrication technologies initially used to pattern semiconductors in the integrated circuit industry have grown out of this field and now encompass a variety of methods to etch patterns onto both 2D and 3D scaffolds to allow incorporation of custom-made features resembling the fluid network and organization in native liver. This improvisation permits for enhanced vascularization and oxygen diffusion to the in vitro liver tissue. In this review, we discuss the various configurations that have been implemented in the in vitro culture of liver cells and their application in liver therapeutics in the form of implantable liver tissue constructs and tools for drug screening.Hepatology International 01/2014; · 2.64 Impact Factor