Hepatocytes and Bile Formation

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Hepatocytes are specialized cells of the liver with synthetic, metabolic, excretory, and detoxification functions that are essential for life. Formation of bile containing pigments, salts, lipids, proteins, and other molecules is characteristic of hepatocytes. The origination and development of hepatocytes requires coordination of complex mechanisms, which are not fully understood. These mechanisms are important for developmental aberrations as well as genetically-determined conditions. Derivation of hepatocytes from pluripotent stem cells is advanced by molecular mechanisms of hepatic development. Stem cell-derived hepatocytes are of enormous interest for multiple applications but current protocols for differentiating stem cells need significant improvements. Preservation of gene expression and differentiated functions in hepatocytes after isolation from liver and culture in dishes is controlled by regulatory networks of major transcription factors, cytokines, and receptors. These networks and processes may be disturbed by liver injury, inflammation and various diseases with impairments in hepatic functions. Many genetic diseases have molecular lesions that produce defects in hepatic protein synthesis, secretory and metabolic functions, or uptake, processing and transport of bile components. The molecular nature of these conditions is important for identifying therapeutic targets. Advances at individual gene and cell levels are offering increasingly exciting opportunities for liver- and hepatocyte-directed personalized medicine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Gastroenterology, Second Edition
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9780128124604
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Cells
  • Development
  • Disease
  • Fetal
  • Gene expression
  • Liver regeneration
  • Molecular biology
  • Transcription factors
  • Transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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