Regenerative medicine aims to replace damaged tissues by stimulating endogenous tissue repair or by transplanting autologous or allogeneic cells. Due to their capacity to produce unlimited numbers of cells of a given cell type, pluripotent stem cells, whether of embryonic origin or induced via the reprogramming of somatic cells, are of considerable therapeutic interest in the regenerative medicine field. However, regardless of the cell type, host immune responses present a barrier to success. The aim of this study was to investigate in vitro the immunological properties of human pluripotent stem cell (PSC)-derived hepatocyte-like cells (HLCs). These cells expressed MHC class I molecules while they lacked MHC class II and co-stimulatory molecules, such as CD80 and CD86. Following stimulation with IFN-γ, HLCs upregulated CD40, PD-L1 and MHC class I molecules. When co-cultured with allogeneic T cells, HLCs did not induce T cell proliferation; furthermore, when T cells were stimulated via αCD3/CD28 beads, HLCs inhibited their proliferation via IDO1 and tryptophan deprivation. These results demonstrate that PSC-derived HLCs possess immuno-regulatory functions, at least in vitro.

Original languageEnglish
Article number24
Issue number1
Early online date22 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022


  • In vitro studies
  • IPSC-derived hepatocyte-like cells
  • Regenerative medicine
  • T cell activation


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