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      Vascularized and functional human liver from an iPSC-derived organ bud transplant.

      Nature

      Animals, Cell Differentiation, Cell Lineage, Drug-Induced Liver Injury, therapy, Endothelial Cells, cytology, metabolism, transplantation, Gene Expression Profiling, Humans, Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells, Liver, blood supply, embryology, physiology, Liver Failure, Liver Transplantation, Mesoderm, Mice, Regenerative Medicine, methods, Tissue Culture Techniques

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          Abstract

          A critical shortage of donor organs for treating end-stage organ failure highlights the urgent need for generating organs from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). Despite many reports describing functional cell differentiation, no studies have succeeded in generating a three-dimensional vascularized organ such as liver. Here we show the generation of vascularized and functional human liver from human iPSCs by transplantation of liver buds created in vitro (iPSC-LBs). Specified hepatic cells (immature endodermal cells destined to track the hepatic cell fate) self-organized into three-dimensional iPSC-LBs by recapitulating organogenetic interactions between endothelial and mesenchymal cells. Immunostaining and gene-expression analyses revealed a resemblance between in vitro grown iPSC-LBs and in vivo liver buds. Human vasculatures in iPSC-LB transplants became functional by connecting to the host vessels within 48 hours. The formation of functional vasculatures stimulated the maturation of iPSC-LBs into tissue resembling the adult liver. Highly metabolic iPSC-derived tissue performed liver-specific functions such as protein production and human-specific drug metabolism without recipient liver replacement. Furthermore, mesenteric transplantation of iPSC-LBs rescued the drug-induced lethal liver failure model. To our knowledge, this is the first report demonstrating the generation of a functional human organ from pluripotent stem cells. Although efforts must ensue to translate these techniques to treatments for patients, this proof-of-concept demonstration of organ-bud transplantation provides a promising new approach to study regenerative medicine.

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          Most cited references 16

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          Pancreatic endoderm derived from human embryonic stem cells generates glucose-responsive insulin-secreting cells in vivo.

          Development of a cell therapy for diabetes would be greatly aided by a renewable supply of human beta-cells. Here we show that pancreatic endoderm derived from human embryonic stem (hES) cells efficiently generates glucose-responsive endocrine cells after implantation into mice. Upon glucose stimulation of the implanted mice, human insulin and C-peptide are detected in sera at levels similar to those of mice transplanted with approximately 3,000 human islets. Moreover, the insulin-expressing cells generated after engraftment exhibit many properties of functional beta-cells, including expression of critical beta-cell transcription factors, appropriate processing of proinsulin and the presence of mature endocrine secretory granules. Finally, in a test of therapeutic potential, we demonstrate that implantation of hES cell-derived pancreatic endoderm protects against streptozotocin-induced hyperglycemia. Together, these data provide definitive evidence that hES cells are competent to generate glucose-responsive, insulin-secreting cells.
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            Organogenesis and development of the liver.

            Embryonic development of the liver has been studied intensely, yielding insights that impact diverse areas of developmental and cell biology. Understanding the fundamental mechanisms that control hepatogenesis has also laid the basis for the rational differentiation of stem cells into cells that display many hepatic functions. Here, we review the basic molecular mechanisms that control the formation of the liver as an organ. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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              Tissue engineering: creation of long-lasting blood vessels.

              The construction of stable blood vessels is a fundamental challenge for tissue engineering in regenerative medicine. Although certain genes can be introduced into vascular cells to enhance their survival and proliferation, these manipulations may be oncogenic. We show here that a network of long-lasting blood vessels can be formed in mice by co-implantation of vascular endothelial cells and mesenchymal precursor cells, by-passing the need for risky genetic manipulations. These networks are stable and functional for one year in vivo.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                23823721
                10.1038/nature12271

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