Differentiation of stem cells to hepatocyte-like cells (HLCs) holds great promise for basic research, drug and toxicological investigations, and clinical applications. There are currently no protocols for the production of HLCs from stem cells, such as embryonic stem cells or induced pluripotent stem cells, that produce fully mature hepatocytes with a wide range of mature hepatic functions. This report describes a standard method to assess the maturation of stem cell-derived HLCs with a moderately high-throughput format, by analysing liver gene expression by quantitative RT-qPCR. This method also provides a robust data set of the expression of 62 genes expressed in normal liver, generated from 17 fetal and 25 mature human livers, so that investigators can quickly and easily compare the expression of these genes in their stem cell-derived HLCs with the values obtained in authentic fetal and mature human liver. The simple methods described in this study will provide a quick and accurate assessment of the efficacy of a differentiation protocol and will help guide the optimization of differentiation conditions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental Biology
- Cell Biology