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Differentiation Effects by the Combination of Spheroid Formation and Sodium Butyrate Treatment in Human Hepatoblastoma Cell Line (Hep G2): A Possible Cell Source for Hybrid Artificial Liver

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The aim of this study was to investigate the feasibility of human hepatoblastoma cell line (Hep G2), which differentiates by spheroid formation, and treatment with sodium butyrate (SB) as a cell source for hybrid artificial liver (HAL). Hep G2 spontaneously formed spheroids in polyurethane foam (PUF) within 3 days of culture and restored weak ammonia removal activity. Treatment with SB, which is a histone deacetylase inhibitor, further increased the ammonia removal activity of Hep G2 spheroids in a concentration-dependent manner. The activation of ornithine transcarbamylase—a urea cycle enzyme—was significantly related to the upregulation of ammonia removal by spheroid formation, but scarcely contributed to the further upregulation following SB treatment. In contrast with ammonia removal, treatment with SB reduced the albumin secretion of Hep G2 spheroids in a concentration-dependent manner. In the PUF-HAL module in a circulation culture, the ammonia removal rate and albumin secretion rate (per unit volume of the module) of Hep G2 spheroids treated with 5 mM SB were almost the same as those of primary porcine hepatocyte spheroids. These results suggest that simultaneous use of spheroid formation and SB treatment in Hep G2 is beneficial in enhancing the functions of human hepatocytes with potential applications in regenerative medicine and drug screening.
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Keywords: Hep G2; Hybrid artificial liver; Polyurethane foam; Sodium butyrate; Spheroid

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan 2: Department of Chemical Processes and Environments, University of Kitakyushu, Kitakyushu, Japan

Publication date: 01 October 2005

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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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