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Title: ECM proteins in a microporous scaffold influence hepatocyte morphology, function, and gene expression
Authors: Wang, Yan
Kim, Myung Hee
Shirahama, Hitomi
Lee, Jae Ho
Ng, Soon Seng
Glenn, Jeffrey S.
Cho, Nam-Joon
Keywords: Gene Expression Regulation
Tissue Scaffold
Issue Date: 2016
Source: Wang, Y., Kim, M. H., Shirahama, H., Lee, J. H., Ng, S. S., Glenn, J. S., & Cho, N.-J. (2016). ECM proteins in a microporous scaffold influence hepatocyte morphology, function, and gene expression. Scientific Reports, 6, 37427-. doi:10.1038/srep37427
Series/Report no.: Scientific Reports
Abstract: It is well known that a three-dimensional (3D) culture environment and the presence of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins facilitate hepatocyte viability and maintenance of the liver-specific phenotype in vitro. However, it is not clear whether specific ECM components such as collagen or fibronectin differentially regulate such processes, especially in 3D scaffolds. In this study, a series of ECM-functionalized inverted colloidal crystal (ICC) microporous scaffolds were fabricated and their influence on Huh-7.5 cell proliferation, morphology, hepatic-specific functions, and patterns of gene expression were compared. Both collagen and fibronectin promoted albumin production and liver-specific gene expression of Huh-7.5 cells, compared with the bare ICC scaffold. Interestingly, cells in the fibronectin-functionalized scaffold exhibited different aggregation patterns to those in the collagen-functionalized scaffold, a variation that could be related to the distinct mRNA expression levels of cell adhesion-related genes. Based on these results, we can conclude that different ECM proteins, such as fibronectin and collagen, indeed play distinct roles in the phenotypic regulation of cells cultured in a 3D environment.
DOI: 10.1038/srep37427
Rights: © 2016 The Authors (Nature Publishing Group). This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
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