Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

The differentiation of hepatocyte-like cells from monkey embryonic stem cells.

  • Author(s): Ma, XiaoCui
  • Wu, Jian
  • Zern, M A
  • et al.

Embryonic stem cells (ESC) hold great potential for the treatment of liver diseases. Here, we report the differentiation of rhesus macaque ESC along a hepatocyte lineage. The undifferentiated monkey ESC line, ORMES-6, was cultured in an optimal culture condition in an effort to differentiate them into hepatocyte-like cells in vitro. The functional efficacy of the differentiated hepatic cells was evaluated using RT-PCR for the expression of hepatocyte specific genes, and Western blot analysis and immunocytochemistry for hepatic proteins such as alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), albumin and alpha1-antitrypsin (alpha1-AT). Functional assays were performed using the periodic acid schiff (PAS) reaction and ELISA. The final yield of ESC-derived hepatocyte-like cells was measured by flow cytometry for cells that were transduced with a liver-specific lentivirus vector containing the alpha1-AT promoter driving the expression of green fluorescence protein (GFP). The treatment of monkey ESC with an optimal culture condition yielded hepatocyte-like cells that expressed albumin, alpha1-AT, AFP, hepatocyte nuclear factor 3beta, glucose-6-phophatase, and cytochrome P450 genes and proteins as determined by RT-PCR and Western blot analysis. Immunofluorescent staining showed the cells positive for albumin, AFP, and alpha1-AT. PAS staining demonstrated that the differentiated cells showed hepatocyte functional activity. Albumin could be detected in the medium after 20 days of differentiation. Flow cytometry data showed that 6.5 +/- 1.0% of the total differentiated cells were positive for GFP. These results suggest that by using a specific, empirically determined, culture condition, we were able to direct monkey ESC toward a hepatocyte lineage.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC Academic Senate's Open Access Policy. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
Current View