Human hepatocyte transplantation is being trialled in lieu of orthotopic liver transplants for patients with acute
and chronic liver diseases. Stem cells that can be differentiated into hepatocyte-like cells may replace human hepatocytes
that are difficult to source, culture and in critically short supply. Hepatocyte-like cells have been derived from embryonic
and adult tissue stem cells using a combination of growth factors and chemical inducers. Stem cells derived from the human
placenta have gained interest due to the unlimited supply of placental tissue, minimal issues associated with stem cell
retrieval from placental tissue and the large yields of stem cells that can be obtained. Placental stem cells have been characterised
and differentiated into hepatocyte-like cells. This review summarises the literature relating to the differentiation
of human placental stem cells into hepatocyte-like cells, the characterisation of the differentiated cells, testing the functionality
of the hepatocyte-like cells in pre-clinical animal models of liver disease and biomaterials used for culturing and
transplantation of these cells into extra-hepatic sites.
Keywords: Amniotic epithelial cells, amniotic mesenchymal stromal cells, hepatocyte differentiation, hepatocyte characterisation,
Wharton’s Jelly mesenchymal stromal cells, acute liver failure, Stem cell markers, cell surface antigens hepatocyte-like cells (HLC).
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Published on: 06 February, 2013
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