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Open Access Hepatocytes From Fibrotic Liver Possess High Growth Potential in Vivo

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Hepatocyte transplantation is effective for treating liver failure, but healthy donors as a source of hepatocytes are quite limited. The livers of patients with hepatic fibrosis could be an alternative source; however, few reports have examined the nature of hepatocytes from fibrotic livers (f-hepatocytes). In this study, we compared the growth of f-hepatocytes and hepatocytes from normal livers (n-hepatocytes). Hepatocytes were isolated from normal and CCl4-treated wild-type Fischer rats that express dipeptidyl dipeptidase IV (DPPIV) gene (DPPIV+). The n- and f-hepatocytes proliferated in culture at similar rates. Both types of hepatocytes were transplanted into DPPIV mutant Fischer rats that had been treated with retrorsine to injure the liver and were partially hepatectomized (PHx) before transplantation. Both n- and f-DPPIV+-hepatocytes proliferated and formed colonies. The colony sizes of f-hepatocytes 21 days posttransplantation were approximately three times those of n-hepatocytes. The hepatocytes were analyzed using a fluorescence activated cell sorter (FACS). The FACS profile differed between f- and n-hepatocytes: f-hepatocytes were less granular, less autofluorescent, and smaller than n-hepatocytes. These characteristics of f-hepatocytes resembled those reported for small-sized n-hepatocytes (SHs), which are highly proliferative and preferentially express a unique set of 10 SH genes. However, f-hepatocytes preferentially expressed only five of the SH genes. The expression profile of f-hepatocytes was rather similar to that of proliferating n-hepatocytes in the regenerating liver after PHx. The f-hepatocytes were morphologically normal and did not show any preneoplastic phenotype. These normal and proliferative natures of f-hepatocytes in vivo suggest the fibrotic liver as a source of hepatocytes for transplantation.

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Keywords: Carbon tetrachloride; Hepatectomy; Hepatocyte proliferation; Hepatocyte transplantation; Liver regeneration; Retrorsine

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Yoshizato Project, CLUSTER, Hiroshima Prefectural Institute of Industrial Science and Technology, Hiroshima 739-0046, Japan; Department of Surgery, Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine and Dentistry, Okayama 700--8558, Japan

Publication date: 2009-05-01

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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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