Human deciduous periodontal ligament stem cells have been introduced for as an easily accessible source of stem cells from dental origin. Although recent studies have revealed the ability of these stem cells in multipotential attribute, their efficiency of hepatic lineage differentiation has not been addressed so far. The aim of this study is to investigate hepatic lineage fate competence of periodontal ligament stem cells through direct media induction. Differentiation of periodontal ligament stem cells into hepatocyte-like cells was conducted by the exposure of two phase media induction. First phase was performed in the presence of hepatocyte growth factors to induce a definitive endoderm formation. In the subsequent phase, the cells were treated with oncostatin M and dexamethosone followed by insulin and transferrin to generate hepatocyte-like cells. Hepatic-related characters of the generated hepatocyte-like cells were determined at both mRNA and protein level followed by functional assays. Foremost changes observed in the generation of hepatocyte-like cells were the morphological features in which these cells were transformed from fibroblastic shape to polygonal shape. Temporal expression of hepatic markers ranging from early endodermal up to late markers were detected in the hepatocyte-like cells. Crucial hepatic markers such as glycogen storage, albumin, and urea secretion were also shown. These findings exhibited the ability of periodontal ligament stem cells of dental origin to be directed into hepatic lineage fate. These cells can be regarded as an alternative autologous source in the usage of stem cell-based treatment for liver diseases.
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