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Apoptosis Occurs in Isolated and Banked Primary Mouse Hepatocytes

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Isolation and cryopreservation of freshly isolated hepatocytes is considered a standard procedure for the long-term storage of liver cells. However, most existing methods for banking hepatocytes do not allow sufficient recovery of viable cells to meet the needs of basic research or clinical trials of hepatocyte transplantation. The mechanisms underlying this poor rate of hepatocyte recovery are unknown. Although much of the cellular damage in freezing is caused by formation of ice crystals within the cells, this is largely prevented by the use of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) and controlled rate freezing. As we demonstrated recently, necrosis does occur in primary hepatocytes following isolation and cryopreservation. In the present study, we explored the contribution of apoptosis, another form of cell death, in primary hepatocytes banked for transplantation. We evaluated apoptosis of C57BL/6J mouse primary hepatocytes using several different methods. Annexin binding and the TUNEL assay, in conjunction with flow cytometry and confocal laser scanning microscopy, revealed that the percentage of apoptotic cells was dramatically elevated in cryopreserved cells compared with that in the control group of unfrozen cells. DNA laddering detected by DNA electrophoresis in agarose gel also supported the presence of apoptosis in isolated and banked liver cells. Moreover, we found that the addition of glucose (from 10 to 20 mM) into the freezing solution (University of Wisconsin Solution) decreased the rate of apoptosis by 84% and improved the cell attachment at least fourfold in cryopreserved cells. These results suggest that apoptosis might contribute to cell death in isolated and banked primary hepatocytes.
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Keywords: Key words: Cryostorage; Lactate dehydrogenase rele

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: *Department of Pediatrics, Northwestern University Medical School, Children's Memorial Hospital, Chicago, IL 60614 2: †Department of Pathology, Northwestern University Medical School, Children's Memorial Hospital, Chicago, IL 60614 3: ‡Department of Immunology, Northwestern University Medical School, Children's Memorial Hospital, Chicago, IL 60614

Publication date: 2001-02-01

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

    Cell Transplantation is now being published by SAGE. Please visit their website for the most recent issues.

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