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Open Access Improved Survival of Fulminant Liver Failure by Transplantation of Microencapsulated Cryopreserved Porcine Hepatocytes in Mice

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The aim of this study was to establish hepatocyte isolation in pigs, and to evaluate function of isolated hepatocytes after encapsulation, cryopreservation, and transplantation (Tx) in a mouse model of fulminant liver failure (FLF). After isolation, porcine hepatocytes were microencapsulated with alginate-poly-L-Lysine-alginate membranes and cryopreserved. In vitro, albumin production of free and encapsulated hepatocytes were measured by enzyme linked-immunoadsorbent assay. In vivo, encapsulated hepatocytes were transplanted into different groups of mice with FLF and the following experimental groups were performed: group 1, Tx of empty capsules; group 2, Tx of free primary porcine hepatocytes; group 3, Tx of fresh encapsulated porcine hepatocytes; group 4, Tx of cryopreserved encapsulated porcine hepatocytes. In vitro, fresh or cryopreserved encapsulated porcine hepatocytes showed a continuous decreasing metabolic function over 1 week (albumin and urea synthesis, drug catabolism). In vivo, groups 1 and 2 showed similar survival (18% and 25%, respectively, p > 0.05). In groups 3 and 4, Tx of fresh or cryopreserved encapsulated porcine hepatocytes significantly increased survival rate to 75% and 68%, respectively (p < 0.05). Primary porcine hepatocytes maintained metabolic functions after encapsulation and cryopreservation. In mice with FLF, Tx of encapsulated xenogeneic hepatocytes significantly improved survival. These results indicate that porcine hepatocytes can successfully be isolated, encapsulated, stored using cryopreservation, and transplanted into xenogeneic recipients with liver failure and sustain liver metabolic functions.

Keywords: Cryopreservation; Encapsulation; Fulminant liver failure; Hepatocyte transplantation; Xenotransplantation

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2009

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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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