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Transplantation of Amniotic Epithelial Cells Into Fetal Rat Liver by In Utero Manipulation

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It has been hoped that amniotic epithelial cells would be a gene carrier to neural and hepatic tissue, because of 1) the presence of neural and hepatic stem-like cells, 2) the ability to cryopreserve them, 3) long-term survival in the transplanted site, and 4) few ethical problems concerning procurement. But transplantation of a sufficient number of cells to adult tissue needs large-scale cell supply and may lead to vascular embolism. We attempted transplantation of amniotic epithelial cells into fetal liver, because 1) the fetal liver is at the proliferative stage, 2) the number of cells required is small, and 3) the fetal stage is advantageous for the induction of immunological tolerance. Amniotic epithelial cells from day 18.5–20.5 fetuses were transfected with adenoviral AdlacZ and harvested to inject into fetal rat liver of the syngeneic strain (day 18.5–20.5). The efficacy of cell transplantation into the liver increased in the order: intraplacental < intraumbilical vein < intrahepatic route. LacZ-transfected amniotic cells (1–8 × 105 cells), hepatocytes (5 × 105 cells), or AdlacZ vector solution (1.7 × 107 pfu) were injected through the uterine membrane into the liver. Transplanted cells formed a cellular mass and survived for up to 14 days after birth, whereas lacZ-transfected cells were rapidly decreased after the injection of AdlacZ vector or rat hepatocytes as a gene carrier so that the use of amniotic epithelial cells as a gene carrier will result in long-term expression of exogenous genes in the liver.

Keywords: In utero man; Key words: Amniotic epithelial cells

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: *National Research Institute for Child Health and Development 2: †Tokyo University of Agriculture 3: ‡National Institute of Neuroscience

Publication date: January 1, 2002

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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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