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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 7380439, 12 pages
Research Article

Ex Vivo Stromal Cell-Derived Factor 1-Mediated Differentiation of Mouse Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stem Cells into Hepatocytes Is Enhanced by Chinese Medicine Yiguanjian Drug-Containing Serum

1Department of Infectious Disease, The First Affiliated Hospital of Dalian Medical University, No. 222, Zhongshan Road, Xigang District, Dalian 116011, China
2Department of Digestive Disease, Gansu Provincial Hospital, Lanzhou 730000, China
3Department of Chinese Medicine, The First Affiliated Hospital of Dalian Medical University, Dalian 116011, China
4Department of General Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Dalian Medical University, Dalian 116011, China

Received 29 December 2015; Revised 4 March 2016; Accepted 23 March 2016

Academic Editor: Yuewen Gong

Copyright © 2016 Linlin Fu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Yiguanjian is administered in traditional Chinese medicine for liver diseases and has been demonstrated to reduce liver fibrosis. This study investigated the effect of Yiguanjian drug-containing serum (YGJ) with Stromal Cell-Derived Factor 1 (SDF-1) and Hepatocyte Growth Factor (HGF) on the differentiation of murine bone-marrow-derived mesenchymal cells (BM-MSCs) into hepatocytes in vitro. Adherent MSCs were isolated from murine bone marrow. Differentiation was induced by 20 ng/mL HGF, 50 ng/mL SDF-1, and 20% Yiguanjian drug-containing serum for 7 to 28 days, and mature hepatocytes’ marker albumin (ALB) and cholangiocytes’ marker cytokeratin-18 (CK-18) were assessed by immunocytochemistry and western blot. BM-MSCs exhibited homogeneous spindle shape growth after subculture and stained positive for CD90 and negative for CD34. After induction with HGF + normal serum or YGJ for 14 days, HGF + SDF-1 + normal serum for 7 days, or HGF + SDF-1 + YGJ for 5 days, MSCs’ morphology changed gradually and begun to resemble hepatocyte-like cells. Cultures supplemented with HGF + SDF-1 + YGJ contained significantly higher proportions of ALB and CK-18 positive cells than cultures supplemented with HGF + SDF-1 + normal serum at day 7. These observations corroborated the results of western blot. In conclusion, Yiguanjian drug-containing serum could facilitate the differentiation of murine BM-MSCs into hepatocytes in vitro and has a synergistic effect with SDF-1 and HGF.