Human Cell

, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 77–84

Differentiation of mesenchymal cells derived from human amniotic membranes into hepatocyte-like cells in vitro

Authors

  • Tomoharu Tamagawa
    • Institute of Cell BiologyIshiwata Hospital
    • Cell Engineering DivisionRIKEN BioResource Center
  • Satoshi Oi
    • Department of AnatomyJikei University School of Medicine
  • Isamu Ishiwata
    • Institute of Cell BiologyIshiwata Hospital
  • Hiroshi Ishikawa
    • Department of AnatomyJikei University School of Medicine
    • Cell Engineering DivisionRIKEN BioResource Center
Original Article

DOI: 10.1111/j.1749-0774.2007.00032.x

Cite this article as:
Tamagawa, T., Oi, S., Ishiwata, I. et al. Hum Cell (2007) 20: 77. doi:10.1111/j.1749-0774.2007.00032.x
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Abstract

Mesenchymal stem cells are believed to be involved in the formation of mesenchymal tissues, including bone, cartilage, muscle, tendon and adipose tissue. Interestingly, it has previously been reported that mesenchymal stem cells could also differentiate into endoderm-derived cells, such as hepatocytes. The amniotic membrane contains mesenchymal cells and is a readily available human tissue. Therefore, we investigated the potential of mesenchymal cells derived from human amniotic membrane (MC-HAM) to differentiate into hepatocytes. We analyzed the expression of hepatocyte-specific genes in MC-HAM before and after induction of differentiation into hepatocytes. We observed the expression of mRNAs encoding albumin, a-fetoprotein, cytokeratin 18 and α1-antitrypsin, but not those encoding glucose-6-phosphatase or ornithine transcarbamylase, prior to the induction of differentiation. However, immunocytochemistry revealed that albumin and α-fetoprotein were abundantly produced only afterthe induction of differentiation into hepatocytes. In addition, we observed the storage of glycogen, a characteristic feature of hepatocytes, using periodic acid-Schiff staining of MC-HAM induced to differentiate into hepatocytes. Overall, MC-HAM appear to be able to differentiate into cells possessing some characteristics of hepatocytes. Although further studies should be carried out to determine whether such in vitro-differentiated cells can function in vivo as hepatocytes. These cells may be useful in various applications that require human hepatocytes.

Key words

amnion membranedifferentiationhepatocyte-like cellmesanchymal stemcellregeneration medicine
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© Society and Springer Japan 2007