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Toxicol In Vitro. 2007 Mar;21(2):324-9. Epub 2006 Sep 5.

Human mesenchymal stem cells from adipose tissue: Differentiation into hepatic lineage.

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  • 1Centro de Investigación, Hospital La Fe, Valencia, Spain.


Adipose tissue represents an accessible source of mesenchymal stem cells (ADSCs), with similar characteristics to bone marrow-derived stem cells. The aim of this work was to investigate the transdifferentiation of ADSCs into hepatic lineage cells in vitro. ADSCs were obtained from human adipose tissue from lipectomy. Cells were grown in medium containing 15% AB human serum. Cultures were serum deprived for two days and exposed to a two-step protocol with two different media using growth factors and cytokines. Hepatic differentiation was assessed by RT-PCR of liver-marker genes. ADSCs exhibited a fibroblastic morphology that changed to a cuboidal shape when cells differentiated. Expression of liver genes increased when using one of the two studied media consisting of DMEM supplemented with HGF, bFGF and nicotinamide for 14 days. The results indicate that, under certain specific inducing conditions, ADSCs can be induced to differentiate into hepatic lineage in vitro. Adipose tissue may be an ideal source of high amounts of autologous stem cells.

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