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De Novo Liver Tissue Formation in Rats Using a Novel Collagen-Polypropylene Scaffold

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In experimental and clinical settings hepatocyte transplantation has provided limited benefit to patients with chronic liver disease because the transplanted hepatocytes were short-lived and were merely maintained for a brief period within the body. Except for whole-liver transplantation, creation of de novo liver tissue is necessary to treat this condition on a long-term basis. The aim of this study was to facilitate the formation of new tissue by actual self-regeneration, rather than by compensatory hypertrophy, or scar formation, with our collagen-polypropylene composite scaffold. Collagen-polypropylene composite scaffolds, not containing hepatocytes, were implanted into the median liver lobe and the dynamics of new liver tissue formation was analyzed immunohistochemically over a 6-month period. Control scaffolds consisted of polypropylene scaffolds without collagen matrix. The control scaffold implants remained hollow throughout the study period and became encapsulated with a hard connective tissue capsule 1 week after implantation. In contrast, the collagen-polypropylene composite scaffold was filled with regenerating tissue structures 3 weeks after implantation. At this time, the predominant cell type within the scaffold was sesmin-positive stellate cells. A week earlier, oval cells were identified using monoclonal antibody staining (OV-6). Subsequently, these cells differentiated into α-fetoprotein-positive immature hepatocytes. After 6 months, mature liver tissue, juxtaposed with bile ducts and blood vessels, was seen within the polypropylene scaffolds. We report the first evidence of de novo formation of liver tissue within a polypropylene scaffold, following implantation in the liver. This scaffold may play a role in treating chronic liver diseases requiring organ replacement therapy.
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Keywords: Extracellular matrix; Hepatic stellate cells; Liver regeneration; Nonparenchymal cells; Oval cells

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of California, Los Angeles, Department of Medicine, Division of Digestive Diseases, UCLA School of Medicine, Center for the Health Sciences, Los Angeles, CA 90095-7019

Publication date: 2003-01-01

More about this publication?
  • 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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