Research Article

Nonintegrating Direct Conversion Using mRNA into Hepatocyte-Like Cells

Figure 3

Analysis of hepatic characteristics of R-iHeps. (a, b) Comparison of hepatic gene and protein marker expression of R-iHeps and MEFs. (a) Expression levels of hepatic marker genes in R-iHeps (red bar) as determined by qPCR. Albumin, AFP, HNF4α, CK18, and CYP1A2 expression were increased in R-iHeps. MEFs: mouse embryonic fibroblasts; R-iHeps: RNA induced hepatocyte-like cells; miHeps: directly converted hepatocyte-like cells using retrovirus; mPHs: mouse primary hepatocytes. , p<.05; , p<.01; , p<.001. (b) Albumin (green)/E-cadherin (red), CK18 (green)/HNF4α (red), CYP1A2 (green)/ASGR1 (red), and Hep par-1 (green)/AFP (red) protein expression were detected in R-iHeps. Vimentin which is a fibroblast marker was detected not in R-iHeps but MEFs. Hoechst (blue) labels all nuclei. The images were captured using confocal microscopy. Scale bars: 50 um. (c) Confirmation of hepatic transporter function and presence of glycoprotein in R-iHeps by indocyanine green (ICG) uptake and Periodic Acid-Schiff (PAS) staining, respectively. (d) Measurement of secreted albumin in the culture media in vitro by ELISA. , p<.001.