Human iPSC-Derived 3D Hepatic Organoids in a Miniaturized Dynamic Culture System


The process of identifying and approving a new drug is a time-consuming and expensive procedure. One of the biggest issues to overcome is the risk of hepatotoxicity, which is one of the main reasons for drug withdrawal from the market. While animal models are the gold standard in preclinical drug testing, the translation of results into therapeutic intervention is often ambiguous due to interspecies differences in hepatic metabolism. The discovery of human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) and their derivatives has opened new possibilities for drug testing. We used mesenchymal stem cells and hepatocytes both derived from hiPSCs, together with endothelial cells, to miniaturize the process of generating hepatic organoids. These organoids were then cultivated in vitro using both static and dynamic cultures. Additionally, we tested spheroids solely composed by induced hepatocytes. By miniaturizing the system, we demonstrated the possibility of maintaining the organoids, but not the spheroids, in culture for up to 1 week. This timeframe may be sufficient to carry out a hypothetical pharmacological test or screening. In conclusion, we propose that the hiPSC-derived liver organoid model could complement or, in the near future, replace the pharmacological and toxicological tests conducted on animals.

Authors Calamaio S, Serzanti M, Boniotti J, Fra A, Garrafa E, Cominelli M, Verardi R, Poliani PL, Dotti S, Villa R, Mazzoleni G, Dell'Era P, Steimberg N
Journal Biomedicines
Publication Date 2023 Jul 26;11(8)
PubMed 37626611
PubMed Central PMC10452373
DOI 10.3390/biomedicines11082114

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