Hepatocyte growth factor induces differentiation of adult rat bone marrow cells into a hepatocyte lineage in vitro

S H Oh, M Miyazaki, H Kouchi, Y Inoue, M Sakaguchi, T Tsuji, N Shima, K Higashio, M Namba
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 2000 December 20, 279 (2): 500-4
Bone marrow (BM) cells originally include alpha-fetoprotein (AFP)- and c-Met [a receptor for hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)]-expressing cells. In vitro treatment of BM cells with HGF induced albumin-expressing hepatocyte-like cells. Furthermore, those hepatocyte-like cells expressed cytokeratins 8 and 18, which are typically expressed in normal adult hepatocytes. These findings demonstrate that BM cells include AFP-expressing hepatic progenitor cells that can be differentiated into hepatocytes by HGF in culture, indicating that such cultures are useful resources for cell transplantation therapy for liver diseases.

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