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In Vitro Production of Functionally Mature Hepatocytes From Prospectively Isolated Hepatic Stem Cells

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Hepatocyte transplantation and artificial organ hepatic support require a number of functionally mature hepatocytes. However, their growth activity and functional behaviors are much smaller in culture after isolation from the liver. We examined whether continuously differentiating hepatocytes from multipotent hepatic stem cells that were isolated by using flow cytometry and propagated clonally in culture could be a source of clinical application. They actually gave rise to cells that were functionally equal to mature hepatocytes found in the adult liver, which secreted albumin into culture medium and metabolized harmful ammonium into urea. These data suggest that stem cell-derived hepatocytes are a useful cell source for developing therapeutic strategies, such as cell transplantation, gene therapy, and artificial liver organ to treat various liver disorders.

Keywords: Artificial liver organ; Hepatocyte; Stem cell; Transplantation

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: *Department of Surgery, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8575, Japan 2: †Laboratory of Stem Cell Therapy, Center for Experimental Medicine, Institute of Medical Science, University of Tokyo, Tokyo 108-8639, Japan 3: ‡Department of Regenerative Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Yokohama City University, Yokohama, Kanagawa 236-0004, Japan

Publication date: January 1, 2003

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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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