The only curative treatment for hepatic failure is liver transplantation. Unfortunately, this treatment has several major limitations, as for example donor organ shortage. A previous report demonstrated that transplantation of induced pluripotent stem cells without reprogramming factor c-Myc (3-genes iPSCs) attenuates thioacetamide-induced hepatic failure with minimal incidence of tumorigenicity. In this study, we investigated whether 3-genes iPSC transplantation is capable of rescuing carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced fulminant hepatic failure and hepatic encephalopathy in mice. Firstly, we demonstrated that 3-genes iPSCs possess the capacity to differentiate into hepatocyte-like cells (iPSC-Heps) that exhibit biological functions and express various hepatic specific markers. 3-genes iPSCs also exhibited several antioxidant enzymes that prevented CCl4-induced reactive oxygen species production and cell death. Intraperitoneal transplantation of either 3-genes iPSCs or 3-genes iPSC-Heps significantly reduced hepatic necrotic areas, improved hepatic functions, and survival rate in CCl4-treated mice. CCl4-induced hepatic encephalopathy was also improved by 3-genes iPSC transplantation. Hoechst staining confirmed the successful engraftment of both 3-genes iPSCs and 3-genes iPSC-Heps, indicating the homing properties of these cells. The most pronounced hepatoprotective effect of iPSCs appeared to originate from the highest antioxidant activity of 3-gene iPSCs among all transplanted cells. In summary, our findings demonstrated that 3-genes iPSCs serve as an available cell source for the treatment of an experimental model of acute liver diseases.
- Carbon tetrachloride
- Hepatic encephalopathy
- Hepatic failure
- Induced pluripotent stem cell