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Essay: New approaches in the differentiation of stem cells towards hepatocytes and endothelial cells

Starokozhko, V. (2013) Essay: New approaches in the differentiation of stem cells towards hepatocytes and endothelial cells. Master's Thesis / Essay, Biology.

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Currently, orthotopic liver transplantation is the only effective treatment for end-stage liver diseases. However, the procedure is highly limited by the shortage of liver donors. Cell-based liver therapy could be employed as an alternative approach to whole liver transplantation, thus reducing the mortality rate of patience on the waiting list. Stem cells are currently considered a potentially infinite source for generation of various cell types. Hepatocyte- and endothelial-like cells have been derived from different sources, such as embryonic stem cells (ESCs), human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), bone marrow stem cells, adipose tissue etc., each of which has its advantages and limitations. Accordingly, tumorogenicity is still one of the major obstacles in clinical application of ESCs and iPSCs. However, a progress in developing efficient non-viral methods of reprogramming somatic cells into pluripotent cell lines and availability of new methods to remove oncogenes after the induction of pluripotency alleviates some tumorigenic concerns around iPSCs and holds promise for their clinical application in the coming years. Also, adult stem cells were suggested to be non-oncogenic and were extensively studied with respect to their ability to differentiate into hepatocyte- and endothelial-like cells. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) derived from adipose tissue appear to be the most abundant source of adult stem cells that can be used to generate autologous therapies, minimizing or even eliminating problems associated with immune rejection after orthotropic transplantation. Previously used differentiation protocols for hepatocytes and endothelial cells generation were shown to be inefficient and cell differentiation appeared to be inadequate. Newly applied techniques, such as co-cultivation, manipulations of the genome to induce certain genes, considerably improved generation of vascular and hepatic cells from stem cells. Development of functional vascularized in vitro hepatic tissue constructs would make it possible to mimic in vivo environment and ultimately create bioartificial liver for clinical use.

Item Type: Thesis (Master's Thesis / Essay)
Degree programme: Biology
Thesis type: Master's Thesis / Essay
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 07:52
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 07:52

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