Mitochondrial remodeling in hepatic differentiation and dedifferentiation

Anaïs Wanet, Noémie Remacle, Mehdi Najar, Etienne Sokal, Thierry Arnould, Mustapha Najimi, Patricia Renard

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Mitochondrial biogenesis and metabolism have recently emerged as important actors of stemness and differentiation. On the one hand, the differentiation of stem cells is associated with an induction of mitochondrial biogenesis and a shift from glycolysis toward oxidative phosphorylations (OXPHOS). In addition, interfering with mitochondrial biogenesis or function impacts stem cell differentiation. On the other hand, some inverse changes in mitochondrial abundance and function are observed during the reprogramming of somatic cells into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). Yet although great promises in cell therapy might generate better knowledge of the mechanisms regulating the stemness and differentiation of somatic stem cells (SSCs)-which are preferred over embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and iPSCs because of ethical and safety considerations-little interest was given to the study of their mitochondria. This study provides a detailed characterization of the mitochondrial biogenesis occurring during the hepatogenic differentiation of bone marrow-mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs). During the hepatogenic differentiation of BM-MSCs, an increased abundance of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is observed, as well as an increased expression of several mitochondrial proteins and biogenesis regulators, concomitant with increased OXPHOS activity, capacity, and efficiency. In addition, opposite changes in mitochondrial morphology and in the abundance of several OXPHOS subunits were found during the spontaneous dedifferentiation of primary hepatocytes. These data support reverse mitochondrial changes in a different context from genetically-engineered reprogramming. They argue in favor of a mitochondrial involvement in hepatic differentiation and dedifferentiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-185
Number of pages12
JournalThe international journal of Biochemistry & Cell biology
Early online date30 Jul 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Oxidative phosphorylation
  • Hepatocytes
  • Mesenchymal stromal cells
  • Mitochondrial turnover
  • Cell (de)differentiation


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