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Repopulation by Endogenous Hepatocytes Does Not Reconstitute Liver Mass in Rats Treated With Retrorsine

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The retrorsine (RS)-based model for massive liver repopulation was laid on the hypothesis that transplanted cells can proliferate in the recipient liver if the growth capacity of endogenous hepatocytes is persistently impaired. In order to directly test this hypothesis, we examined the long-term response to 2/3 partial hepatectomy (PH) in rats pretreated with RS, according to the protocol for liver repopulation. Rats were given RS or saline and 4 weeks later they underwent PH; they were killed up to 16 weeks thereafter. Liver weights, liver DNA, and protein content were significantly lower in the RS group throughout the experimental time considered (e.g., at 16 weeks post-PH relative liver weight was 1.99 ± 0.30% in RS group vs. 3.06 ± 0.5% in controls). Regenerative nodules were present in RS-treated livers; they occupied about 3% of the liver at 2 weeks post-PH and this value increased to nearly 50% at 8 weeks and to >95% at 16 weeks. In conclusion, RS-treated rat liver is unable to recover its original mass for several months following PH, despite the development of regenerative nodules. This long-lasting effect is likely to contribute to the growth of transplanted hepatocytes, leading to massive liver repopulation.

Keywords: Cell cycle block; Cyclin D1; Regenerative nodules; Retrorsine

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2008-12-01

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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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