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hVEGF165 Increases Survival of Transplanted Hepatocytes Within Portal Radicles: Suggested Mechanism for Early Cell Engraftment

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VEGF is a potent angiogenic factor that promotes hepatocyte growth, increases permeability of blood vessels, and induces vasodilatation, and may accelerate engraftment and function of transplanted hepatocytes. The aim was to study the effect of VEGF on early hepatocyte engraftment. Thirty-two Lewis syngeneic female rats underwent 70% partial hepatectomy. Eighteen received 240 ng VEGF165 and 14 received saline for control. Thereafter, intrasplenic transplantation of 107 male hepatocytes was done. Semiquantitative analysis of PCR product of the SRY region of the Y-chromosome was performed. Paraffin-embedded sections were stained for H&E and for PCNA immunostaining. By PCR, male hepatocytes were identified in 8 livers out of 14 VEGF-treated rats at 24–48 h, compared with only 1 liver out of 8 controls. Transplanted cells were seen within portal vessels radicles in 7 out of 14 VEGF-treated rats for as long as 48 h posttransplantation, compared with only one control liver at 24 h. There was no histological sign of cell injury to transplanted or adjacent cells. Two weeks after transplantation male transplanted cells were identified in two out of four rats treated with hVEGF165 and in one out of six rats treated with saline. No transplanted cells were detected within portal tracts 14 days after transplantation. hVEGF165 enhances the presence of transplanted hepatocytes within portal vessels after transplantation. We suggest an additional mechanism for cell engraftment, whereby transplanted hepatocytes first stick to each other in the portal radicles. Later they become included in the liver parenchyma as groups of organized cells in a process stimulated by VEGF.

Keywords: Hepatocyte transplantation; Liver regeneration; Partial hepatectomy; VEGF

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Liver Unit, 2: Department of Pediatric Surgery, Rambam Medical Center, and The Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, 31096, Haifa, Israel 3: Liver Unit 4: Vascular and Tumor Biology Research Center, The Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, 31096, Haifa, Israel

Publication date: 2005-01-01

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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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