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Functional Assessment of the Quality of Human Hepatocyte Preparations for Cell Transplantation

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Hepatocyte transplantation is an alternative therapy to orthotopic liver transplantation for the treatment of liver diseases. Good quality freshly isolated or cryopreserved human hepatocytes are needed for clinical transplantation. However, isolation, cryopreservation, and thawing processes can seriously impair hepatocyte viability and functionality. The aim of the present study was to develop a fast and sensitive procedure to estimate the quality of hepatocyte preparations prior to clinical cell infusion. To this end, cell viability, attachment efficiency, and metabolic competence (urea synthesis and drug-metabolizing P450 activities) were selected as objective criteria. Viability of hepatocyte suspension was estimated by trypan blue staining. DNA content of attached cells 50 min after hepatocyte platting to fibronectin/collagen-coated dishes was quantified to estimate adherence capacity. Urea production was determined after incubating hepatocyte suspensions with 2 mM ClNH4 for 30 min. The cytochrome P450 function was assayed by a 30-min incubation of hepatocyte suspension with a cocktail mixture containing selective substrates for seven individual P450 activities (CYP1A2, 2A6, 2C9, 2C19, 2D6, 2E1, and 3A4). The assay can be applied to both freshly isolated and cryopreserved hepatocyte suspensions, and the results are available within 1 h, which could help to make short-term decisions: 1) to assess the suitability for cell transplantation of a preparation of freshly isolated hepatocytes or a particular batch of thawed cells, or 2) to estimate the convenience of banking a particular cell preparation.
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Keywords: Functional markers; Hepatocyte transplantation; P450 activities; Urea synthesis

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-10-01

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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