[Effects of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells on the proliferation of hepatocytes and cirrhotic fat-storing cells in vitro]

Li-jun Shi, Shuang-xing Li, Bo Sun, Jing-hua Wang, Hu-lun Li, Liang-hong Jin
Zhonghua Gan Zang Bing za Zhi, Zhonghua Ganzangbing Zazhi, Chinese Journal of Hepatology 2007, 15 (9): 681-4

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the differentiation of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) and the effects of BMSCs on the proliferation of cirrhotic fat-storing cells (CFSC) and hepatocytes in vitro.

METHODS: BMSCs and hepatocytes were isolated and harvested from the bone marrow and livers of rats. A co-culture system was set up by transwell inserts in which the two chambers were separated by a semipermeable membrane. BMSCs labeled with PKH26 were cultured with hepatocytes/CFSC in the co-culture system and also in a cell-cell direct contact culture system. Anti-albumin and anti-smooth muscle alpha-actin (alpha-SMA) antibodies were tested by using fluorescence immunocytochemistry. BMSCs and hepatocytes/CFSC cultured alone served as controls. The proliferation level of hepatocytes in the co-culture system was measured. CFSC were cultured with the conditional medium of BMSCs, and their quantities were measured microscopically.

RESULTS: Expression of albumin was observed in the hepatocytes of the two culture systems after they were cultured for 72 h but the albumin levels were higher in the cell-cell direct contact culture system (P<0.01). As compared to the controls, the number of hepatocytes was larger in the co-culture system (P<0.01). No expression of alpha-SMA in CFSC was observed in either culture system. The proliferation of CFSC was inhibited by the conditional medium of BMSCs. The longer the time of the co-culturing the more significant was the CFSC growth suppression (P<0.01).

CONCLUSIONS: BMSCs can be induced into hepatocytes by a local micro-environment formed by hepatocytes. BMSCs may promote proliferation of hepatocytes and inhibit proliferation of CFSC.

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