Development of MAPC derived induced endodermal progenitors: Generation of pancreatic beta cells and hepatocytes

Rangarajan Sambathkumar

    Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

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    Multipotent Adult Progenitor Cells (MAPCs) are one potential stem cell source to generate functional hepatocytes or β-cells. However, human MAPCs have less plasticity than pluripotent stem cells (PSCs), as their ability to generate endodermal cells is not robust. Here we studied the role of 14 transcription factors (TFs) in reprogramming MAPCs to induced endodermal progenitor cells (iENDO cells), defined as cells that can be long-term expanded and differentiated to both hepatocyte- and endocrine pancreatic-like cells. We demonstrated that 14 TF-iENDO cells can be expanded for at least 20 passages, differentiate spontaneously to hepatocyte-, endocrine pancreatic-, gut tube-like cells as well as endodermal tumor formation when grafted in immunodeficient mice. Furthermore, iENDO cells can be differentiated in vitro into hepatocyte- and endocrine pancreatic-like cells. However, the pluripotency TF OCT4, which is not silenced in iENDO cells, may contribute to the incomplete differentiation to mature cells in vitro and to endodermal tumor formation in vivo. Nevertheless, the studies presented here provide evidence that reprogramming of adult stem cells to an endodermal intermediate progenitor, which can be expanded and differentiate to multiple endodermal cell types, might be a valid alternative for the use of PSCs for creation of endodermal cell types.

    Reprogramming can occur by the introduction of key transcription factors (TFs) as well as by epigenetic changes. We demonstrated that histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDACi) Trichostatin A (TSA) combined with a chromatin remodeling medium (CRM) induced expression of a number of definitive endoderm and early and late pancreatic marker genes. When CRM was omitted, endoderm/pancreatic marker genes were not induced. Furthermore, treatment with DNA methyltransferase inhibitor (DNMTi) 5-azacytidine (5AZA) CRM did not affect gene expression changes, and when 5AZA was combined with TSA, no further increase in gene expression of endoderm, pancreatic endoderm, and endocrine markers was seen over levels induced with TSA alone. Interestingly, TSA-CRM did not affect expression of pluripotency and hepatocyte genes but induced some mesoderm transcripts. Upon removal of TSA-CRM, the endoderm/pancreatic gene expression profile returned to baseline. Our findings underscore the role epigenetic modification in transdifferentiation of one somatic cell into another. However, full reprogramming of fibroblasts to β-cells will require combination of this approach with TF overexpression and/or culture of the partially reprogrammed cells under -cell specific conditions.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Groningen
    • de Vos, Paul, Supervisor
    • Verfaillie, Catherine M, Supervisor, External person
    • Faas, Marijke, Co-supervisor
    Award date30-Jan-2017
    Place of Publication[Groningen]
    Print ISBNs978-90-367-9527-2
    Electronic ISBNs978-90-367-9526-5
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

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