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The Potential of Bone Marrow Stem Cells to Correct Liver Dysfunction in a Mouse Model of Wilson’s Disease

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Metabolic liver diseases are excellent targets for correction using novel stem cell, hepatocyte, and gene therapies. In this study, the use of bone marrow stem cell transplantation to correct liver disease in the toxic milk (tx) mouse, a murine model for Wilson’s disease, was evaluated. Preconditioning with sublethal irradiation, dietary copper loading, and the influence of cell transplantation sites were assessed. Recipient tx mice were sublethally irradiated (4 Gy) prior to transplantation with bone marrow stem cells harvested from normal congenic (DL) littermates. Of 46 transplanted tx mice, 11 demonstrated genotypic repopulation in the liver. Sublethal irradiation was found to be essential for donor cell engraftment and liver repopulation. Dietary copper loading did not improve cell engraftment and repopulation results. Both intravenously and intrasplenically transplanted cells produced similar repopulation successes. Direct evidence of functionality and disease correction following liver repopulation was observed in the 11 mice where liver copper levels were significantly reduced when compared with mice with no liver repopulation. The reversal of copper loading with bone marrow cells is similar to the level of correction seen when normal congenic liver cells are used. Transplantation of bone marrow cells partially corrects the metabolic phenotype in a mouse model for Wilson’s disease.

Keywords: Bone marrow; Irradiation; Liver; Transplantation; Wilson’s disease; tx mouse

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: *Cell and Gene Therapy Group, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Department of Paediatrics University of Melbourne, Royal Children’s Hospital, Parkville, Victoria, 3052, Australia 2: †Centre for Cell and Molecular Biology, School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Deakin University, Burwood, Victoria, 3125, Australia

Publication date: 2004-01-01

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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.
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