Stem cell therapies for liver diseases

Clara T. Nicolas, Dong J. Joo, Erek D. Nelson, Yi Zhang, Scott L. Nyberg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The liver is has a high capacity for endogenous regeneration and repair. Therefore, the use of stem cells to promote and harness natural liver regeneration is a promising approach to a number of liver diseases that are otherwise dependent on whole-organ liver transplantation, a solution that is severely limited by the shortage of donor livers. Several forms of stem cell therapy involving different stem cell sources have been tested for the treatment of acute and chronic liver failure, as well as congenital metabolic disorders, with varying levels of preclinical and clinical success. These therapies may serve as a bridge to liver transplantation or to endogenous liver regeneration, or in conjunction with gene therapy may be curative for congenital metabolic disorders. Stem cell-derived hepatocyte-like cells hold promise for use in cell transplantation, bioartificial liver devices, and bioengineered organs, and are starting to play an important role in disease modeling, drug development, and toxicity testing. Their capacity for self-renewal and differentiation, together with the liver’s innate regenerative ability, make them ideal candidates for the treatment of liver disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9780128136997
ISBN (Print)9780128137000
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Acute liver failure
  • Alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency
  • Bioartificial liver
  • Bioengineered liver
  • Cell transplantation
  • Chronic liver disease
  • Congenital metabolic disorders
  • Hepatocyte-like cells
  • Induced pluripotent stem cells
  • Mesenchymal stem cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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