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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Differentiation of bone marrow cells into cells that express liver-specific genes in vitro: implication of the Notch signals in differentiation.

Bone marrow (BM) stem cells have been shown to differentiate into liver cells. It remains difficult to sort and culture BM stem cells, and the gene expression of liver-specific proteins in these cells has not been fully investigated. We used a negative selective magnetic cell separation system to obtain stem cell-enriched BM cells. The cells obtained were cultured with hepatocytes or with hepatocyte growth factor ( HGF), and the differentiation of BM cells into cells expressing liver-specific genes, hepatocyte nuclear factor (HNF) 1alpha, cytokeratin (CK) 8, alpha-fetoprotein ( AFP), and albumin was investigated by the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. We also investigated the gene expressions of Notch receptor-1 (Notch-1) and its ligand Jagged-1 in BM cell differentiation. Sorted BM cells showed positive for Sca-1 (Ataxin-1) by immunofluorescence staining. Fluorescence activated cell sorter analysis showed that 32.6% of sorted BM cells had a high level of expression of the hematopoietic stem cell marker CD90 (Thy-1). When cultured with hepatocytes, these cells expressed the liver-specific genes HNF1alpha and CK8 on culture day 3, AFP and albumin on culture day 7. When cultured with HGF (20ng/ml), the cells expressed HNF1alpha on day 3 and CK8 on day 7. Gene expressions of Notch-1 and Jagged-1 were detected in cultured BM cells on day 3. These results suggest that the negative selective magnetic cell separation system is useful for the rapid preparation of stem cell-enriched BM cells, and that the Notch signaling pathway plays a role in BM cell differentiation into a hepatocyte lineage in vitro.[1]


  1. Differentiation of bone marrow cells into cells that express liver-specific genes in vitro: implication of the Notch signals in differentiation. Okumoto, K., Saito, T., Hattori, E., Ito, J.I., Adachi, T., Takeda, T., Sugahara, K., Watanabe, H., Saito, K., Togashi, H., Kawata, S. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. (2003) [Pubmed]
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