Advancements in Disease Modeling and Drug Discovery Using iPSC-Derived Hepatocyte-like Cells

Genes (Basel). 2022 Mar 24;13(4):573. doi: 10.3390/genes13040573.


Serving as the metabolic hub of the human body, the liver is a vital organ that performs a variety of important physiological functions. Although known for its regenerative potential, it remains vulnerable to a variety of diseases. Despite decades of research, liver disease remains a leading cause of mortality in the United States with a multibillion-dollar-per-year economic burden. Prior research with model systems, such as primary hepatocytes and murine models, has provided many important discoveries. However, progress has been impaired by numerous obstacles associated with these models. In recent years, induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-based systems have emerged as advantageous platforms for studying liver disease. Benefits, including preserved differentiation and physiological function, amenability to genetic manipulation via tools such as CRISPR/Cas9, and availability for high-throughput screening, make these systems increasingly attractive for both mechanistic studies of disease and the identification of novel therapeutics. Although limitations exist, recent studies have made progress in ameliorating these issues. In this review, we discuss recent advancements in iPSC-based models of liver disease, including improvements in model system construction as well as the use of high-throughput screens for genetic studies and drug discovery.

Keywords: drug discovery; high-throughput screening; induced pluripotent stem cells; liver diseases.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Drug Discovery
  • Hepatocytes / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells* / metabolism
  • Liver Diseases* / drug therapy
  • Liver Diseases* / genetics
  • Liver Diseases* / metabolism
  • Mice