Cytotherapy 2014 Aug 15;16(8):1132-44. Epub 2014 Mar 15.
Centre for Genetic Diseases, Monash Institute of Medical Research, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. Electronic address:
Background: Intravenous infusion of human amniotic epithelial cells (hAECs) has been shown to ameliorate hepatic fibrosis in murine models. Hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) are the principal collagen-secreting cells in the liver. The aim of this study was to investigate whether factors secreted by hAECs and present in hAEC-conditioned medium (CM) have anti-fibrotic effects on activated human HSCs.
Methods: Human AECs were isolated from the placenta and cultured. Human hepatic stellate cells were exposed to hAEC CM to determine potential anti-fibrotic effects.
Results: HSCs treated for 48 h with hAEC CM displayed a significant reduction in the expression of the myofibroblast markers α-smooth muscle actin and platelet-derived growth factor. Expression of the pro-fibrotic cytokine transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) and intracellular collagen were reduced by 45% and 46%, respectively. Human AEC CM induced HSC apoptosis in 11.8% of treated cells and reduced HSC proliferation. Soluble human leukocyte antigen-G1, a hAEC-derived factor, significantly decreased TGF-β1 and collagen production in activated HSCs, although the effect on collagen production was less than that of hAEC CM. The reduction in collagen and TGF-B1 could not be attributed to PGE2, relaxin, IL-10, TGF-B3, FasL or TRAIL.
Conclusions: Human AEC CM treatment suppresses markers of activation, proliferation and fibrosis in human HSCs as well as inducing apoptosis and reducing proliferation. Human AEC CM treatment may be effective in ameliorating liver fibrosis and warrants further study.