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Functional Hepatocyte Culture and its Application to Cell Therapies

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Since Berry and Friend developed methods to isolate hepatocytes from the liver by a collagenase digestion technique in 1969, studies in laboratory animals have demonstrated that hepatocyte transplantation could potentially be used for the treatment of liver failure and inborn errors of liver-based metabolism. Healthy human hepatocytes are an ideal source for hepatocyte transplantation; however, their relative scarcity is one of the major drawbacks, further compounded by the competing demands of liver transplantation. Notably, most of the hepatocytes are isolated from discarded livers that are not suitable for organ transplantation for a variety of reasons, including excessive fat content. Importantly, the hepatocyte isolation procedure itself exerts major stress on hepatocytes by the disruption of cell-to-cell and cell-to-matrix contacts, resulting in hepatocytic apoptosis. Prevention of apoptosis would maximize yield of healthy cells and maintain hepatocyte differentiated function in culture. In this review, we describe methods to prevent apoptosis by utilizing both antiapoptotic molecules and matrices. We also introduce a new type of liver tissue engineering, hepatocyte sheet transplantation, which utilizes unwoven cloth having a cellular adhesive property.
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Keywords: Apoptosis; Hepatocyte; Liver; Matrix; Tissue engineering

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Surgery, Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine and Dentistry, Okayama 700-8558, Japan 2: Rosalind Franklin Comprehensive Diabetes Center, Chicago Medical School, North Chicago, IL 60064, USA, Department of Biochemistry, Chosun University School of Medicine, Gwangju 501-759, Korea

Publication date: 2006-10-01

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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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