Induction of functionally mature hepatocytes from fibroblasts by essential factors for hepatocyte differentiation
Associate Professor, Medical Institute of Bioregulation,
Recently, it became possible to generate a completely-different type of cell from a original source of cell by artificially modulating a microenvironment or gene expression pattern of these cells. Based on this amazing finding, we here attempt to induce functionally mature hepatocytes from fibroblasts by introducing essential genes for hepatocyte differentiation into fibroblasts and providing a suitable culture condition for hepatocytes. These fibroblast-derived hepatocytes will be prepared from patients with liver diseases, and used as donor cells in hepatocyte transplantation and as a material for the screening of drugs.