Hepatic steatosis is a highly prevalent liver disease, yet research is hampered by the lack of tractable cellular and animal models. Steatosis also occurs in cats, where it can cause severe hepatic failure. Previous studies demonstrate the potential of liver organoids for modeling genetic diseases. To examine the possibility of using organoids to model steatosis, we established a long-term feline liver organoid culture with adult liver stem cell characteristics and differentiation potential toward hepatocyte-like cells. Next, organoids from mouse, human, dog, and cat liver were provided with fatty acids. Lipid accumulation was observed in all organoids and interestingly, feline liver organoids accumulated more lipid droplets than human organoids. Finally, we demonstrate effects of interference with β-oxidation on lipid accumulation in feline liver organoids. In conclusion, feline liver organoids can be successfully cultured and display a predisposition for lipid accumulation, making them an interesting model in hepatic steatosis research. In this study Kruitwagen and colleagues establish and characterize a feline liver organoid culture, which has adult stem cell properties and can be differentiated toward hepatocyte-like cells. They propose liver organoids as a tool to model hepatic steatosis and show that feline liver organoids accumulate more lipids than human organoids when provided with excess fatty acids.

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Keywords Adult liver stem cells, Disease modeling, Feline hepatic lipidosis, Feline liver organoids, Hepatic steatosis, Species differences
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.stemcr.2017.02.015, hdl.handle.net/1765/98805
Journal Stem Cell Reports
Kruitwagen, H.S. (Hedwig S.), Oosterhoff, L.A. (Loes A.), Vernooij, I.G.W.H. (Ingrid G.W.H.), Schrall, I.M. (Ingrid M.), van Wolferen, M.E, Bannink, F. (Farah), … Spee, B. (2017). Long-Term Adult Feline Liver Organoid Cultures for Disease Modeling of Hepatic Steatosis. Stem Cell Reports, 8(4), 822–830. doi:10.1016/j.stemcr.2017.02.015