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Long-Term Maintenance of the Drug Transport Activity in Cryopreservation of Microencapsulated Rat Hepatocytes

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Transplantation of isolated hepatocytes has been proposed to compensate for essential functions lacking in liver failure or for genetic defects that alter a specific liver metabolic pathway. Hepatocyte utilization for these purposes would be facilitated with a reliable, reproducible, and effective method of long-term hepatocyte storage. We have recently developed a simple new system for cryopreservation of hepatocytes that encapsulates alginate microspheres and maintains liver-specific function. The aim of this study was to elucidate the transport and drug-metabolizing enzyme activities of cryopreserved microencapsulated hepatocytes stored for a long time. Morphological examinations showed there is no apparent injury of the hepatocytes during cryopreservation processes. A drug-metabolizing enzyme (testosterone 6-hydroxylase, a specific probe for CYP3A2) and drug transport activities [salicylate, allopurinol, and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), typical substrates of rOat2] in cryopreserved microencapsulated hepatocytes were maintained up to 120 days. Our results thus demonstrate for the first time that cryopreservation of primary rat hepatocytes by the encapsulation technique allows long-term retention of drug metabolism and drug transport activities.

Keywords: Cryopreservation; Cytochrome P450; Hepatocyte transplantation; Organic anion transporter; Transporter

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Second Department of Surgery, School of Medicine, Showa University, 1-5-8 Hatanodai, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo 142-8555, Japan 2: Department of Clinical Pharmacy, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Showa University, 1-5-8 Hatanodai, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo 142-8555, Japan

Publication date: January 1, 2007

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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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