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Seh-Hoon Oh, Ph.D.


Child Health Research Institute

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Research Overview

Findings have opened the possibility of an autologous, BM-derived IPCs based therapy for the treatment of type-1 diabetes.  Autoimmune destruction of native pancreatic islet cells is the underlying cause of T1D. Specifically, Dr. Oh’s focus is on immunophenotypic similarities between BM-derived IPCs and pancreatic islet cells. Dr. Oh has developed successful laboratory skills and maintains collaborative relationships with researchers in academia all over the world. Having this extensive professional experience in academics with regard to bone marrow stem cells, his goal is to establish an independent career in one of the major novel treatments for juvenile diabetes. The research that he is conducing may advance our understanding of tissue regeneration and the mechanism(s). Previous, he has discovered that adult bone marrow cells can be differentiated into liver cells and pancreatic insulin producing cells that can be further used for the treatment of acute liver failure and diabetes mellitus. Finally, I have previously demonstrated that a population of cells within the adult bone marrow (BM) possesses the ability to differentiate into IPCs. BM-derived IPCs have proven capable of regulating blood glucose levels following transplant beneath the renal capsule of hyperglycemic mice and combination of stem cells therapy with a pharmacological approach have been tested. These very promising initial findings have opened the possibility of an autologous, BM-derived IPCs based therapy for the treatment of T1D. Critical to the development of such a therapy is a complete characterization of the cell population within the BM that gives rise to IPCs. Furthermore, the extent to which the patient’s immune system reacts to these cells, and the degree to which this reaction may be chemotherapeutically mitigated must also be understood.

Also, the other research is to the relationship between IHoP, insulin, and glucagon synthesis will need to be further investigated to elucidate the function of this protein in the pathogenesis of diabetes Mellitus, and other diseases. Recently, we first reported that IHoP protein co-localized with glucagon synthesizing α-cell and it is a new marker of α-cell and pancreatic islet. The data presented that the control of glucagon synthesis in the α-cell of the pancreatic islet is regulated by IHoP. The suppression of IHoP by siRNA technique resulted in suppression of glucagon synthesis, and subsequent loss of regulation of insulin synthesis from β-cells. IHoP suppression led to a break in homeostasis and induction of apoptosis in the pancreatic islet. In NOD mice, it was found that IHoP and glucagon were overexpressed in the pancreatic islet. Additionally, infiltrating T-cell expressed IHoP, but not glucagon. A similar expression pattern was seen in the human pre-type-1 diabetic islet. However, although the islets of post-onset-type-1-diabetics were positive for glucagon, there was no expression of IHoP.  This may suggest that IHoP plays a critical role in the regulation of the islet homeostasis via mediating glucagon synthesis by α-cells.


  1. Oh, Seh-Hoon, Houda Darwiche, Jae-Hyoung Cho, Thomas Shupe, Bryon E. Petersen. Characterization of a novel functional protein in the pancreatic islet: IHoP regulation of glucagon synthesis in alpha-cells. Pancreas. 41:22-30 (2012)
  2. Youngmi Jung, Seh-Hoon Oh, Rafal P. Witeck and Bryon E. Petersen. Somatostatin stimulates the migration of hepatic oval cells in the injured rat liver. Liver International. 32:312-320 (2012).
  3. Bu-Kyu Lee, Su-Jin Choi, David Mark, Seh-Hoon Oh. Isolation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) from the Mandibular Marrow Aspirates in human. Oral Surg. Oral Med. Oral Pathol. Oral Radiol. and Endodontol. 112:e86-e93 (2011).
  4. Si-Hyun Bae, Seh-Hoon Oh, Seung-Kew Yoon, Seong-Tae Park, Gi-Dae Kim, Won-hee Hur, Jong-Young Choi,  Il-Hoan Oh, Kun-Ho Yoon. Proliferation of hepatic oval cells through cyclooxygenase-2 and extracellular matrix protein signaling during liver regeneration after 2-AAF/partial hepatectomy in rats. Gut and Liver. 5:367-376 (2011)
  5. Williams JM, Oh SH, Jorgensen M, Steiger N, Darwiche H, Shupe T, Petersen BE. The Role of the Wnt Family of Secreted Proteins in Rat Oval “Stem” Cell-Based Liver Regeneration. Wnt1 Drives Differentiation. Am J Pathol. 176:2732-2742 (2010).
  6. Pintilie DG, Shupe TD, Oh SH, Salganik SV, Darwiche H, Petersen BE. Hepatic stellate cells’ involvement in progenitor-mediated liver regeneration. Lab Invest. 2010
  7. Nicole C Steiger-Luther, Houda Darwiche, Seh-Hoon Oh, Jennifer M Williams, Bryon E Petersen. Insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3 is required for the regulation of rat oval cell proliferation and differentiation in the 2AAF/PHX model. Hepatic Medicine: Evidence and Research 2:13–32 (2010).
  8. Jen-Jung Pan, Seh-Hoon Oh, Wayne C. Lee, Bryon E. Petersen. Bone marrow derived progenitor cells could modulate pancreatic cancer tumorigenesis via peritumoral microenvironment in a rat model. Oncology Research. 17:339-345 (2009).
  9. Oh Seh-Hoon, Rafal P. Witek, Si-Hyun Bae, Houda Darwiche, Youngmi Jung, Liya Pi, Alicia Brown and Bryon E Petersen. Detection of transketolase in bone marrow-drived insulin producing cells: Benfotiamine enhances insulin synthesis and glucose metabolism. Stem Cell and Development. 18:37-46 (2009).
  10. Liya Pi, Xiaodong Ding, Marda Jorgensen, Jen-Jung Pan, Seh-Hoon Oh, Dana Pintilie, Alicia Brown, Wen-Yuan Song, Bryon E. Petersen. Connective tissue growth factor with a novel fibronectin binding site modulates cell adhesion and migration during rat oval cell activation. Hepatology. 47:996-1004 (2008).
  11. Si Hyun Bae, Jong Young Choi, Seung Kew Yoon, Il-Hoan Oh, Kun Ho Yoon, Seong Tae Park, Gi Dae Kim, Seh-Hoon Oh and Bryon E. Petersen. Thy1-positive bone marrow stem cells express liver-specific genes in vitro and can mature into hepatocytes in vivo. Hepatol Int. 2:63-71 (2008).
  12. Piscaglia AC, Shupe TD, Oh SH, Gasbarrini A, Petersen BE. Granulocyte-Colony Stimulating Factor Promotes Liver Repair and Induces Oval Cell Migration and Proliferation in Rats. Gastroenterology. 133:619-631 (2007).
  13. Oh Seh-Hoon, Rafal P. Witek, Donhang Zheng, Youngmi Jung and Bryon E Petersen. Bone marrow is the source of hepatic oval cells for hepatocytes differentiation in the 2AAF/PHx liver regeneration model. Gastroenterology. 132:1077-1087 (2007).
  14. Zheng Donhang, Seh-Hoon Oh, Jung Youngmi and Bryon E Petersen. Oval cell response in 2-acetylaminofluorene/partial hepatectomy rat is attenuated by short interfering RNA targeted to stromal cell-derived factor-1. Am. J. Pathology. 169:2066-2074 (2006).
  15. Jung Youngmi, Seh-Hoon Oh, Donhang Zheng, Rafal P. Witek, Thomas D. Shupe and Bryon E Petersen. A potential role of somatostatin and its receptors SSTR4 in the mugration of hepatic oval cells. Lab Invest. 86:477-489 (2006).
  16. Takahisa Fujikawa, Seh-Hoon Oh, Thomas D. Shupe, and Bryon E.Petersen. Stem-cell therapy for hepatobiliary pancreatic disease. J Hepatobiliary Pancreat Surg. 12:190-195 (2005).
  17. Takahisa Fujikawa, Seh-Hoon Oh, Liya Pi, Thomas D. Shupe, and Bryon E.Petersen. Teratoma formation leads to failure of treatment for type I diabetes using embryonic stem cell-derived insulin-producing cells. Am. J. Pathology. 166:1781-1791 (2005).
  18. Liya Pi, Seh-Hoon Oh, Thomas D. Shupe, and Bryon E.Petersen. Gasstroenterology. The role of connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) in oval cell response during liver regeneration following 2-acetylaminofluorene/partial hepatectomy in rats. Gastroenterology. 128:2077-2088 (2005).
  19. Oh, S. H., Heather M. Hatch, and Bryon E. Petersen. Hepatic oval ‘stem’ cell in liver regeneration. Cell & Dev. Bio., 13(6):405-409 (2002).