From Stem Cells to Livers Bile ducts are structures in the liver that secrete bile to help with digestion. The ducts are lined with cells called cholangiocytes; when these cells malfunction, liver damage occurs and a transplant is usually needed. Although bile duct disorders are a well-known cause of liver disease, the events that lead to the malfunction of these cells are not fully understood. A team led by Drs. Anand Ghanekar, Gordon Keller, Shinichiro Ogawa and Binita Kamath (SickKids) recently discovered how to turn stem cells into bile duct cells. Equipped with this new method, the team will be able to uncover what leads to cholangiocyte malfunctioning and develop new therapies for liver diseases.
Read more at Directed differentiation of cholangiocytes from human pluripotent stem cells. Ogawa M, Ogawa S, Bear CE, Ahmadi S, Chin S, Li B, Grompe M, Keller G, Kamath BM, Ghanekar A. Nature Biotechnology 2015 Aug;33(8):853-61.