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Open Access Treatment of Acute Liver Failure in Mice by Hepatocyte Xenotransplantation

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Liver diseases still have a high mortality even though liver transplantation has become a standard treatment. Currently, hepatocyte transplantation has been proposed as another promising strategy. One limitation is the availability of human livers as a source of hepatocytes. Because of an unlimited supply, the use of porcine hepatocytes might address this problem. Regardless of the source, once isolated hepatocytes lose specific functionality due to the loss of the natural microenvironment. For this reason, we tested the ability of a self-assembling peptide nanofiber (SAPNF) to provide a provisional three-dimensional (3D) support to interact with cells to control their function in vivo. Isolated porcine hepatocytes were embedded in SAPNF, or collagen type I and transplanted by direct injection into the splenic pulp of SCID mice suffering from acute liver failure (ALF) by 90% hepatectomy. SAPNF porcine hepatocyte transplantation produced engraftment that was far superior to that obtained using collagen and prolonged the survival of mice with ALF, in contrast with controls. An ultrastructural evaluation using transmission electron microscopy indicated extensive cell‐cell communication and preservation of hepatocyte architecture. The transplanted SAPNF hepatocytes showed higher expression of albumin and PAS and lower apoptotic events assessed by TUNEL staining. Hepatocytes culture in a truly 3D network allows in vivo maintaining of differentiated functions, and once transplanted between widely divergent species can function to correct acute liver failure in mice and prolong their survival.

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Keywords: Acute liver failure; Hepatocyte transplantation; Hepatocytes; Self-assembling peptide nanofiber; Xenotransplantation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Surgery, Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry, and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Okayama, Japan

Publication date: 2010-06-01

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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