Amniotic epithelial cells (AECs) represent a useful and noncontroversial source for liver-based regenerative medicine, as they can differentiate into hepatocytes upon transplantation into the liver. However, the possibility that AECs can differentiate into other liver cell types, such as hepatic sinusoidal endothelial cells (HSECs), has never been assessed. In order to test this hypothesis, rat- and human-derived AECs (rAECs and hAECs, respectively) were subjected to endothelial cell tube formation assay in vitro. Moreover, to evaluate differentiation in vivo, the retrorsine (RS) model of liver repopulation was used. Pyrrolizidine alkaloids (including RS) are known to target both hepatocytes and endothelial cells, inducing cell enlargement and inhibition of cell cycle progression. rAECs and hAECs were able to form capillary-like structures when cultured under proangiogenic conditions. For in vivo experiments, rAECs were obtained from dipeptidyl peptidase type IV (DPP-IV, CD26) donors and were transplanted into the liver of recipient CD26 negative animals pretreated with RS. rAEC-derived cells were engrafted in between hepatocytes and resembled HSECs as assessed by morphological analysis and the pattern of expression of CD26. Donor-derived CD26+cells coexpressed HSEC markers RECA-1 and SE-1, while they lacked expression of typical hepatocyte markers (i.e., cytochrome P450, hepatocyte nuclear factor 4α). As such, these results provide the first evidence that AECs can respond to proangiogenic signals in vitro and differentiate into HSECs in vivo. Furthermore, they support the conclusion that AECs possesses great plasticity and represents a promising tool in the field of regenerative medicine both in the liver and in other organs.

Evidence of Amniotic Epithelial Cell Differentiation toward Hepatic Sinusoidal Endothelial Cells

Serra, Monica;Marongiu, Michela;Contini, Antonella;Cadoni, Erika;Laconi, Ezio;Marongiu, Fabio
2018-01-01

Abstract

Amniotic epithelial cells (AECs) represent a useful and noncontroversial source for liver-based regenerative medicine, as they can differentiate into hepatocytes upon transplantation into the liver. However, the possibility that AECs can differentiate into other liver cell types, such as hepatic sinusoidal endothelial cells (HSECs), has never been assessed. In order to test this hypothesis, rat- and human-derived AECs (rAECs and hAECs, respectively) were subjected to endothelial cell tube formation assay in vitro. Moreover, to evaluate differentiation in vivo, the retrorsine (RS) model of liver repopulation was used. Pyrrolizidine alkaloids (including RS) are known to target both hepatocytes and endothelial cells, inducing cell enlargement and inhibition of cell cycle progression. rAECs and hAECs were able to form capillary-like structures when cultured under proangiogenic conditions. For in vivo experiments, rAECs were obtained from dipeptidyl peptidase type IV (DPP-IV, CD26) donors and were transplanted into the liver of recipient CD26 negative animals pretreated with RS. rAEC-derived cells were engrafted in between hepatocytes and resembled HSECs as assessed by morphological analysis and the pattern of expression of CD26. Donor-derived CD26+cells coexpressed HSEC markers RECA-1 and SE-1, while they lacked expression of typical hepatocyte markers (i.e., cytochrome P450, hepatocyte nuclear factor 4α). As such, these results provide the first evidence that AECs can respond to proangiogenic signals in vitro and differentiate into HSECs in vivo. Furthermore, they support the conclusion that AECs possesses great plasticity and represents a promising tool in the field of regenerative medicine both in the liver and in other organs.
amniotic epithelial cells; cell transplantation; hepatic sinusoidal endothelial cells; stem cell differentiation
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11584/242854
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