Serum from CCl4-induced acute rat injury model induces differentiation of ADSCs towards hepatic cells and reduces liver fibrosis

Cellular therapies hold promise to alleviate liver diseases. This study explored the potential of allogenic serum isolated from rat with acute CCl4 injury to differentiate adipose derived stem cells (ADSCs) towards hepatic lineage. Acute liver injury was induced by CCl4 which caused significant increase in serum levels of VEGF, SDF1α and EGF. ADSCs were preconditioned with 3% serum isolated from normal and acute liver injury models. ADSCs showed enhanced expression of hepatic markers (AFP, albumin, CK8 and CK19). These differentiated ADSCs were transplanted intra-hepatically in CCl4-induced liver fibrosis model. After one month of transplantation, fibrosis and liver functions (alkaline phosphatase, ALAT and bilirubin) showed marked improvement in acute injury group. Elevated expression of hepatic (AFP, albumin, CK 18 and HNF4a) and pro survival markers (PCNA and VEGF) and improvement in liver architecture as deduced from results of alpha smooth muscle actin, Sirius red and Masson’s trichome staining was observed.