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Long-Term Maintenance of Liver-Specific Functions in Cultured ES Cell-Derived Hepatocytes With Hyaluronan Sponge

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This study investigated the three-dimensional culture of hepatocytes differentiated from mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells with a porous hyaluronan (HA) sponge support. Hepatocytes were immobilized within the pores of the support. Spheroids could be observed within the support, each containing between 20 and 50 hepatocytes. To examine the liver-specific functions of the hepatocytes in the culture, the levels of albumin secreted into the medium were analyzed. The secretion of albumin was stable over the course of 32 days, longer than that in both conventional monolayer and collagen sponge cultures. To elucidate further the liver-specific functions of hepatocytes embedded in the HA sponge, metabolic activities of the hepatocytes were examined for their ability to eliminate ammonia from culture media and the synthesis of urea nitrogen. While rates of ammonia removal and urea nitrogen synthesis were similar to those in both conventional monolayer and in collagen sponge cultures, these functions were maintained for longer duration in cells embedded in the HA sponge. These results demonstrate that the porous HA sponge is an effective support for the in vitro culture of ES-derived hepatocytes used for both basic and applied studies for cell transplantation.
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Keywords: Embryonic stem cells; Hepatocytes; Hyaluronan (HA) sponge; Spheroid; Three-dimensional

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: National Cancer Center Research Institute, 1-1, Tsukiji, 5-chome, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0045, Japan 2: National Cancer Center Research Institute, 1-1, Tsukiji, 5-chome, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0045, Japan, Department of Biology, School of Education, Waseda University, Tokyo 169-0051, Japan 3: Central Research Laboratories, Seikagaku Corporation, 1253 Tateno 3-chome, Higashiyamato-shi, Tokyo 207-0021, Japan 4: National Cancer Center Research Institute, 1-1, Tsukiji, 5-chome, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0045, Japan,

Publication date: 2005-09-01

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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.

    Cell Transplantation is now being published by SAGE. Please visit their website for the most recent issues.

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