Send to

Choose Destination
Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis. 2019 May 1;1865(5):920-928. doi: 10.1016/j.bbadis.2018.08.038. Epub 2018 Sep 5.

Liver diseases in the dish: iPSC and organoids as a new approach to modeling liver diseases.

Author information

Digestive Disease Section, Yale Liver Center, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, (USA).
Department of Molecular Medicine, University of Padova School of Medicine, Padova, Italy.
Digestive Disease Section, Yale Liver Center, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, (USA). Electronic address:


Liver diseases negatively impact the quality of life and survival of patients, and often require liver transplantation in cases that progress to organ failure. Understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms of liver development and pathogenesis has been a challenging task, in part for the lack of adequate cellular models directly relevant to the human diseases. Recent technological advances in the stem cell field have shown the potentiality of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) and liver organoids as the next generation tool to model in vitro liver diseases. Hepatocyte-like cells and cholangiocyte are currently being generated from skin fibroblasts and mononuclear blood cells reprogrammed into iPSC and have been successfully used for disease modeling, drug testing and gene editing, with the hope to be able to find application also in regenerative medicine. Protocols to generate other liver cell types are still under development, but the field is advancing rapidly. On the other end, liver cells can now be isolated from liver specimens (liver explants or liver biopsies) and cultured in specific conditions to form polarized 3D organoids. The purpose of this review is to summarize all these recent technological advances and their potential applications but also to analyze the current issues to be addressed before the technology can reach its full potential.


3D culture; Cholangiocytes; Hepatocytes; Liver development; Regenerative medicine; Stem cells

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center