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Int J Clin Exp Pathol 2010;3(7):681-690

Original Article
Skeletal muscle-derived stem cells differentiate into hepatocyte-like cells and aid in liver

Ian H Bellayr, Burhan Gharaibeh, Johnny Huard, Yong Li,

Stem Cell Research Center, Orthopaedic Surgery Department & Children’s Hospital of UPMC; Department of Bioengineering, University of
Pittsburgh; Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine; Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh,
School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA 15219, USA.

Received July 14, 2010, accepted July, available online July, 2010

Abstract: The liver is unique for its ability to regenerate after injury, however, critical injuries or disease cause it to lose this quality.  Stem cells
have been explored as a possibility to restore the function of seriously damaged livers, based on their self-renewability and multiple
differentiation capacity. These experiments examine the ability of muscle derived stem cells (MDSCs) to differentiate into hepatocyte-like cells
in vitro and acquire functional liver attributes for repairing damaged livers.  In vitro experiments were performed using MDSCs from postnatal
mice and mouse hepatocyte cell lines. Our data revealed that MDSCs differentiated into hepatocyte-like cells and expressed liver cell markers,
albumin, hepatocyte nuclear factor 4α, and alpha feto-protein, both at the RNA and protein level.  Additionally, in vivo studies showed successful
engraftment of MDSCs into hepatectomized mouse livers of mice. These results provide evidence suggesting that MDSCs have the capacity to
differentiate into liver cell-like cells and may serve as potential candidates to aid in liver regeneration. (IJCEP1007005).

Keywords: Liver, hepatectomy, muscle derived stem cells, differentiation

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Address all correspondence to:
Yong Li, MD, PhD
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Pathology and Bioengineering
University of Pittsburgh
Director, Laboratory of Molecular Pathology
Suite 206 Bridgeside Point II
450 Technology Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Tel: 412-648-3313
Fax: 412-648-4066