Towards Regenerative Therapies For the Liver

Folk at Advanced Cell Technology are touting their latest technology demonstration: "a robust and highly efficient process for the generation of high-purity hepatocytes (liver cells). ... Highly enriched populations of definitive endoderm (DE) were generated from [human embryonic stem cells (hESCs)] and then induced to differentiate along the hepatic lineage by the sequential addition of inducing factors implicated in physiological hepatogenesis. The differentiation process was largely uniform with cell cultures progressively expressing increasing numbers of hepatic lineage markers. The hepatocytes exhibited functional hepatic characteristics such as glycogen storage, indocyanine green uptake and release, and albumin secretion. In an animal model of acute liver injury, the hESC-DE cells differentiated into hepatocytes and successfully repopulated the damaged liver. ... the research represents another one of Advanced Cell Technology's efforts aimed at the large-scale differentiation of human embryonic stem cells [into] critical replacement cell types."


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