Copyright ©The Author(s) 2019. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. Apr 28, 2019; 25(16): 1913-1927
Published online Apr 28, 2019. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v25.i16.1913
Organoids of liver diseases: From bench to bedside
Li-Jun Wu, Zi-Yan Chen, Yi Wang, Jun-Gang Zhao, Xiao-Zai Xie, Gang Chen
Li-Jun Wu, Zi-Yan Chen, Jun-Gang Zhao, Xiao-Zai Xie, Gang Chen, Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou 325000, Zhejiang Province, China
Yi Wang, Research Center of Evidence-Based Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology, School of Public Health and Management, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou 325000, Zhejiang Province, China
Author contributions: All the authors contributed to the search and analysis of the literature and to the writing of the paper.
Supported by the Natural Science Foundation of Zhejiang Province, No. LY17H160047; the Science Technology Department of Zhejiang Province, No. 2018C37114; and the National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 81772628 and No. 81703310.
Conflict-of-interest statement: The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Corresponding author: Gang Chen, MD, PhD, Professor, Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital, Wenzhou Medical University, Nanbaixiang, Ouhai District, Wenzhou 325000, Zhejiang Province, China.
Telephone: +86-577-55579453 Fax: +86-577-55579555
Received: February 21, 2019
Peer-review started: February 22, 2019
First decision: March 5, 2019
Revised: March 12, 2019
Accepted: March 16, 2019
Article in press: March 16, 2019
Published online: April 28, 2019

Understanding the occurrence, development, and treatment of liver diseases is the main goal of hepatopathology research. Liver diseases are not only diverse but also highly heterogeneous among individuals. At present, research on liver diseases is conducted mainly through cell culture, animal models, pathological specimens, etc. However, these methods cannot fully reveal the pathogenic mechanism and therapeutic characteristics of individualized liver diseases. Recent advances in three-dimensional cell culture technology (organoid culture techniques) include pluripotent stem cells and adult stem cells that are cultured in vitro to form self-organizing properties, making it possible to achieve individualized liver disease research. This review provides a comprehensive overview of the development of liver organoids, the existing and potential applications of liver regenerative medicine, the pathogenesis of liver disease heterogeneity, and drug screening.

Keywords: Organoids, Liver diseases, Individualized research, Liver cancer, Three-dimensional cell culture, Liver organoids

Core tip: This article not only systematically elaborates on the origin and culture of organoids but also comprehensively summarizes the latest applications of organoids in liver diseases, especially benign liver diseases and malignant tumors. Furthermore, it discusses the advantages and disadvantages of the application of liver organoids in liver diseases, and shows that organoids have great potential for exploring the pathogenesis and treatment of liver diseases.