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Adrenergic receptor agonists induce the differentiation of pluripotent stem cell-derived hepatoblasts into hepatocyte-like cells

By Maki Kotaka, Taro Toyoda, Katsutaro Yasuda, Yuko Kitano, Chihiro Okada, Akira Ohta, Akira Watanabe, Motonari Uesugi and Kenji Osafune


Abstract Current induction methods of hepatocytes from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) are neither low cost nor stable. By screening a chemical library of 1,120 bioactive compounds and known drugs, we identified the α1-adrenergic receptor agonist methoxamine hydrochloride as a small molecule that promotes the differentiation of hiPSC-derived hepatoblasts into ALBUMIN+ hepatocyte-like cells. Other α1-adrenergic receptor agonists also induced the differentiation of hepatocyte-like cells, and an α1-receptor antagonist blocked the hepatic-inducing activity of methoxamine hydrochloride and that of the combination of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and Oncostatin M (OsM), two growth factors often used for the induction of hepatoblasts into hepatocyte-like cells. We also confirmed that treatment with methoxamine hydrochloride activates the signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) pathway downstream of IL-6 family cytokines including OsM. These findings allowed us to establish hepatic differentiation protocols for both mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) and hiPSCs using small molecules at the step from hepatoblasts into hepatocyte-like cells. The results of the present study suggest that α1-adrenergic agonists induce hepatocyte-like cells by working downstream of HGF and OsM to activate STAT3

Topics: Medicine, R, Science, Q
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Year: 2017
DOI identifier: 10.1038/s41598-017-16858-5
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