Bottom-up signaling from HGF-containing surfaces promotes hepatic differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells

Mahboobe Ghaedi, Nazgul Tuleuova, Mark A. Zern, Jian Wu, Alexander Revzin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


The capacity of stem cells to differentiate into specific cell types makes them very promising in tissue regeneration and repair. However, realizing this promise requires novel methods for guiding lineage-specific differentiation of stem cells. In this study, hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), an important morphogen in liver development, was co-printed with collagen I (Col) to create arrays of protein spots on glass. Human adipose stem cells (ASCs) were cultured on top of the HGF/Col spots for 2. weeks. The effects of surface-immobilized HGF on hepatic differentiation of ASCs were analyzed using RT-PCR, ELISA and immunocytochemistry. Stimulation of stem cells with HGF from the bottom-up caused an upregulation in synthesis of α-fetoprotein and albumin, as determined by immunocytochemistry and ELISA. RT-PCR results showed that the mRNA levels for albumin, α-fetoprotein and α1-antitrypsin were 10- to 20-fold higher in stem cells cultured on the HGF/Col arrays compared to stem cells on Col only spots. Our results show that surfaces containing HGF co-printed with ECM proteins may be used to differentiate mesenchymal stem cells such as ASCs into hepatocyte-like cells. These results underscore the utility of growth factor-containing culture surfaces for stem cell differentiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-300
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 8 2011


  • Extracellular matrix
  • Growth factor immobilization
  • Hepatic differentiation
  • Mesenchymal stem cells
  • Protein microarrays

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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