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Genetic Modification of Hepatocytes Towards Hepatocyte Transplantation and Liver Tissue Engineering

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Cell-based therapies, including liver tissue engineering following hepatocyte transplantation, have therapeutic potential for several types of liver diseases. Modifications in the methodology to manipulate the donor hepatocytes in a more simple and timely manner prior to transplantation would enhance the therapeutic efficacy of this procedure. Conventional approach for vector-mediated gene transduction to the isolated hepatocytes has been performed under primary culture conditions that routinely require several days to complete. In our study, we have established a clinically feasible approach that requires only 1 h of infection time with an adenoviral vector system that results in an extremely efficient transduction efficiency (>80%). To optimize transduction efficiency and sustain normal cellular function, we determined that the isolated hepatocytes should be maintained in UW solution as a suspension medium and infected with adenoviral vectors (Ad) for no more than 1 h at a MOI of 1. To establish if the isolated hepatocytes could be used as a source for cell-based therapies, we transplanted the Ad-transduced hepatocytes into the liver or under the kidney capsule. When the cells were transplanted into the liver, Ad-transduced hepatocytes cultured in suspension conditions were found to have a significantly higher survival rate ( p < 0.01) than Ad-transduced hepatocytes cultured under standard conditions. We also confirmed that these Ad-transduced hepatocytes have ability to survive long term and were able to engineer a biologically active hepatic tissue under the kidney capsule. Finally, we obtained high level of transduction into canine, porcine, and human isolated hepatocytes in a suspension solution mixed with Ad. In conclusion, the present studies demonstrate that isolated hepatocytes could be genetically modified using Ad when kept in a suspension solution. For this reason, this cell-modified technique could be used for the treatment of liver-targeted diseases and/or disorders.

Keywords: Adenoviral vector; Ex vivo gene therapy; Gene modification; Hepatocyte transplantation; Liver tissue engineering

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Surgery, Nara Medical University, Nara, Japan 2: Department of Surgery, Ohio State University Medical Center, Columbus, OH, USA 3: Division of Gene Therapy and Regenerative Medicine, Cognitive and Molecular Research Institute for Brain Diseases, Kurume University, Kurume, Japan

Publication date: 2006-01-01

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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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