These cells undergo cell replication at a significantly faster rate than other hepatocytes. Importantly, these cells are present peri-centrally
in the normal liver lobule, are not dependent on injury and thereby distinct from injury-induced oval cells and Lgr5+ cells. In addition, we have identified the Wnt ligands that act on these progenitor hepatocytes and show that endothelial cells at the central vein of the liver are the Wnt producing niche cells. We hypothesize that this specialized population of peri-central hepatocyte stem cells is responsible for homeostatic renewal in the liver. Disclosures: The following people have nothing to disclose: Bruce M. Wang, Roel Nusse Induced pluripotent stem cell-derived Birinapant human hepatocyte-like cells (iHLCs) have RXDX-106 concentration great potential for applications such as studying the mechanisms underlying human liver development and disease, testing the efficacy and safety of pharmaceuticals across different patients (i.e. personalized medicine), and enabling cell-based therapies such as bioartificial liver devices and implantable cell-laden constructs. However, current in vitro protocols
that utilize growth factors and extracellular matrices (ECM) alone yield iHLCs with fetal levels of liver functions relative to adult primary human hepatocytes (PHHs). Furthermore, these low hepatic functions in iHLCs are difficult to maintain for prolonged times in culture. Here, we have engineered a micropatterned co-culture (iMPCC) platform in a multi-well format (24- and 96-well plates) that significantly enhanced the functional maturation and longevity of fresh and cryopreserved iHLCs in culture for at least 4 weeks in
vitro when compared to standard confluent cultures. In particular, iHLCs were micro-patterned onto ECM-coated domains of empirically optimized dimensions using soft lithographic techniques and subsequently surrounded by supportive 3T3-J2 murine embryonic fibroblasts. Overlaying the iMPCCs with an ECM gel further improved iHLC functions. Mirabegron We assessed iHLC maturity via liver gene expression (i.e. HNF4a), secretion of albumin and urea (5-6 ug/hr/million iHLCs in iMPCCs), basal CYP450 activities (i.e. up to 73% CYP3A4 activity in iMPCCs as compared to stable PHH cultures), phase II conjugation, drug-mediated CYP450 induction, and hepatocyte polarity (LDL uptake, canalicular transport). Moreover, we showed for the first time that the predictive power for classifying drugs as liver-toxic or non-toxic in iMPCCs was remarkably similar to stable cultures of PHHs (∼65-70% sensitivity, 100% specificity), thereby demonstrating iHLC utility in early stages of drug development where a paucity of healthy human liver tissues limits PHH use.