Recent studies suggest that MSCs possess a greater differentiation potential than once thought and several hepatic differentiation protocols from bone marrow cells have been established. However, the incidence of bone marrow-derived hepatocytes was low. Moreover, a long culture period is needed in most cases.
A research article to be published on July 14, 2010 in World Journal of Gastroenterology addresses this question. The research team led by Professor Shao JZ from College of Life Sciences of Zhejiang University used mouse to investigate the role of VPA on hepatic differentiation of mBM-MSCs. The article indicates that additional exposure of mBM-MSCs to VPA considerably increased the hepatic differentiation in vitro and improved the liver injury by increased homing efficiency of cells to the damaged site in vivo.
The MSCs were successfully isolated from mouse bone marrow and demonstrated that they could differentiate into hepatocytes induced by VPA and well-defined cytokines in a sequential way. The present study demonstrated that VPA-mediated facilitation of hepatic differentiation was regulated by the selective expression of fibroblast growth factor (FGF) and hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) receptors, the increased amounts of acetylated H3 and H4 as well as the structural de-condensation of chromatin. These results provide new insights into the relationships between the epigenetic modification mediated by VPA and the hepatic differentiation from mBM-MSCs.
These findings may also be applicable to study endoderm differentiation and offers an unlimited source of functional hepatocyte-like cells applicable for pharmaco-toxicological research and testing, also this induced system has numerous potential advantages in clinical application.
Correspondence to: Jian-Zhong Shao, Professor, College of Life Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, Zhejiang Province, China. firstname.lastname@example.org
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About World Journal of Gastroenterology
World Journal of Gastroenterology (WJG), a leading international journal in gastroenterology and hepatology, has established a reputation for publishing first class research on esophageal cancer, gastric cancer, liver cancer, viral hepatitis, colorectal cancer, and H pylori infection and provides a forum for both clinicians and scientists. WJG has been indexed and abstracted in Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, Science Citation Index Expanded (also known as SciSearch) and Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition, Index Medicus, MEDLINE and PubMed, Chemical Abstracts, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, Abstracts Journals, Nature Clinical Practice Gastroenterology and Hepatology, CAB Abstracts and Global Health. ISI JCR 2009 IF: 2.092. WJG is a weekly journal published by WJG Press. The publication dates are the 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th day of every month. WJG is supported by The National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 30224801 and No. 30424812, and was founded with the name of China National Journal of New Gastroenterology on October 1, 1995, and renamed WJG on January 25, 1998.
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