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Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2010 Mar 25;3(7):681-90.

Skeletal muscle-derived stem cells differentiate into hepatocyte-like cells and aid in liver regeneration.

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The Laboratory of Molecular Pathology, Stem Cell Research Center, Children's Hospital of UPMC, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15219, USA.


The liver is unique for its ability to regenerate after injury, however, critical injuries or disease cause it to lose this quality. Stem cells have been explored as a possibility to restore the function of seriously damaged livers, based on their self-renewability and multiple differentiation capacity. These experiments examine the ability of muscle derived stem cells (MDSCs) to differentiate into hepatocyte-like cells in vitro and acquire functional liver attributes for repairing damaged livers. In vitro experiments were performed using MDSCs from postnatal mice and mouse hepatocyte cell lines. Our data revealed that MDSCs differentiated into hepatocyte-like cells and expressed liver cell markers, albumin, hepatocyte nuclear factor 4 α, and alpha feto-protein, both at the RNA and protein level. Additionally, in vivo studies showed successful engraftment of MDSCs into hepatectomized mouse livers of mice. These results provide evidence suggesting that MDSCs have the capacity to differentiate into liver cell-like cells and may serve as potential candidates to aid in liver regeneration.


Differentiation; Hepatectomy; Liver; Muscle Derived Stem Cells

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