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Successful Retroviral Gene Transfer of Simian Virus 40 T Antigen and Herpes Simplex Virus-Thymidine Kinase Into Human Hepatocytes

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Current clinical reports have indicated that hepatocyte transplantation (HTX) could be used in patients with liver failure and in children with liver-based metabolic diseases. One of the major limiting factors of HTX is a serious shortage of donor livers for hepatocyte isolation. To address this issue, we immortalized adult human hepatocytes with a retroviral vector SSR#69 expressing the genes of simian virus 40 large T antigen and herpes simplex virus-thymidine kinase simultaneously. One of the resulting clones, NKNT-3, grew steadily in chemically defined serum-free medium without any obvious crisis and showed the gene expression of differentiated liver functions. Under the administration of 5 mM ganciclovir, NKNT-3 cells stopped proliferation and died in in vitro experiments. We have established a tightly regulated immortal human hepatocyte cell line. The cells could allow the need for immediate availability of consistent and functionally uniform cells in sufficient quantity and adequate quality.

Keywords: Key words: Immortalized human hepatocyte; Retrovir

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: *First Department of Surgery, Okayama University Medical School, 2-5-1 Shikata-cho, Okayama 700-8558, Japan 2: †Harvard-Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139

Publication date: April 1, 2001

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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.

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