Differentiation of pancreatic cells into hepatocytes

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This chapter describes the use of the pancreatic cell line AR42J and mouse embryonic pancreas as models for the trans-differentiation of pancreas to liver. Both AR42J cells and embryonic pancreas can be induced to trans-differentiate to hepatocytes by exposure to the glucocorticoid dexamethasone. Dexamethasone can be replaced by the naturally occurring glucocorticoid cortisol to induce the conversion of AR42J cells to hepatocytes. To determine whether the effect of the glucocorticoid is specific, the cells can be exposed to RU486, the glucocorticoid receptor antagonist, prior to the addition of dexamethasone or cortisol. Because the embryonic pancreas contains both exocrine and endocrine cell types, it is possible, with the correct combination of antibodies, to immunostain for at least three cell types. AR42J cells can be obtained as a frozen aliquot or growing culture from the ECACC (93100618) or ATCC (CRL-1492). AR42J-B13 cells are a subclone of the parent line AR42J. The subclone was isolated on the basis of an increased tendency to convert to β cells.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCell Biology: A Laboratory Handbook
EditorsJulio E Celis
Place of PublicationBurlington, Mass.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9780121647308
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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