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Cryopreservation-Induced Nonattachment of Human Hepatocytes: Role of Adhesion Molecules

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Good quality cryopreserved human hepatocytes are becoming an important source for clinical hepatocyte transplantation. However, the process of cryopreservation leads to both structural and functional impairment of hepatocytes. The aim of this study was to investigate the mechanisms of cryopreservation-induced nonattachment in human hepatocytes. Hepatocytes were cryopreserved after isolation from unused donor liver tissue. Cell attachment to collagen-coated plates was measured. A cDNA gene array system for 96 cell adhesion-related molecules was used to determine mRNA expression in fresh and cryopreserved hepatocytes. Two cell adhesion molecule proteins were investigated further: 1-integrin, a cell-matrix adhesion molecule, and E-cadherin, a cell–cell adhesion molecule. Attachment efficiency was significantly decreased after cryopreservation of human hepatocytes. Twenty-two genes were downregulated after cryopreservation including integrins, cadherins, catenins, and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). 1-Integrin gene and protein expression were significantly decreased in cultured cryopreserved hepatocytes compared to fresh hepatocytes. There was a significant correlation between loss of 1-integrin and attachment in cryopreserved cells. Degradation of E-cadherin was increased in cryopreserved hepatocytes. The process of cryopreservation leads to downregulation of cell adhesion molecules at the gene and the cellular level. New cryopreservation protocols are needed to prevent these effects on cell attachment.
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Keywords: Attachment; Cryopreservation; E-cadherin; Hepatocyte; 1-Integrin

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Institute of Liver Studies, King's College London School of Medicine at King's College Hospital, London, UK

Publication date: 2007-06-01

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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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