Conversion of Fibroblasts to Hepatocytes In Vitro
Primary hepatocytes are widely used in regenerative medicine, drug metabolism analysis, and in vitro drug screens. To overcome the shortage of liver donors, several strategies, such as differentiation of pluripotent stem cells and transdifferentiation from somatic cells, were developed to generate hepatocytes from alternative sources. Here, we describe in detail lenti-virus-based procedure for direct conversion of human fibroblasts to hepatocytes (hiHep cells) in vitro. A detailed protocol for preparation of human fibroblasts from scar tissues is also provided. Based on this protocol, FOXA3, HNF1A, and HNF4A are introduced into SV40-large-T-antigen-expressing human scar fibroblasts by lenti-virus. It usually takes about 5–7 days to get epithelial hiHep colonies. SV40-large-T-antigen-expressing hiHep (hiHepLT) cells are proliferative and can be expanded to a large number for potential uses.
Key wordsHepatocytes HiHep cells Transdifferentiation Reprogramming
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