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Evaluation of Drug-Metabolizing and Functional Competence of Human Hepatocytes Incubated Under Hypothermia in Different Media for Clinical Infusion

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Hepatocyte transplantation has been proposed as a method to support patients with liver insufficiency. Key factors for clinical cell transplantation to progress is to prevent hepatocyte damage, loss of viability and cell functionality, factors that depend on the nature of the tissue used for isolation to a large extent. The main sources of tissue for hepatocyte isolation are marginal livers that are unsuitable for transplantation, and segments from reduced cadaveric grafts. Hepatocellular transplantation requires infusing human hepatocytes in suspension over a period of minutes to hours. The beneficial effect of hypothermic preservation of hepatocytes in infusion medium has been reported, but how critical issues towards the success of cell transplantation, such as the composition of infusion medium and duration of hepatocyte storage will affect hepatocyte quality for clinical cell infusion has not been systematically investigated. Infusion media composition is phosphate-buffered saline containing anticoagulants and human serum albumin. The supplementation of infusion media with glucose or N-acetyl-cystein, or with both components at the same time, has been investigated. After isolation, hepatocytes were suspended in each infusion medium and a sample at the 0 time point was harvested for cell viability and functional assessment. Thereafter, cells were incubated in different infusion media agitated on a rocker platform to simulate the clinical infusion technique. The time course of hepatocyte viability, funtionality (drug-metabolizing enzymes, ureogenic capability, ATP, glycogen, and GSH levels), apoptosis (caspase-3 activation), and attachment and monolayer formation were analyzed. The optimal preservation of cell viability, attaching capacity, and functionality, particularly GSH and glycogen levels, as well as drug-metabolizing cytochrome P450 enzymes, was found in infusion media supplemented with 2 mM N-acetyl-cystein and 15 mM glucose.
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Keywords: Apoptosis; Glycogen; Hepatocytes; Hypothermia; Infusion medium; N-Acetyl-cystein; P450 enzymes; Ureogenesis

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-08-01

More about this publication?
  • 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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