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Open Access Transplantation of Encapsulated Hepatocytes During Acute Liver Failure Improves Survival Without Stimulating Native Liver Regeneration

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The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of intraperitoneal transplantation of encapsulated human hepatocytes on liver metabolism and regeneration of mice with acute liver failure. Primary human hepatocytes were immortalized using lentiviral vectors coding for antiapoptotic genes and microencapsulated using alginate-polylysine polymers. In vitro, immortalized human hepatocytes showed low, but stable, synthetic and catabolitic functions over time, when compared to primary hepatocytes. In vivo, mice with acute liver failure and transplanted with encapsulated immortalized human hepatocytes had a significantly improved survival and biochemical profile, compared to mice transplanted with empty capsules. Serum levels of cytokines implicated in liver regeneration were lower in mice transplanted with hepatocytes compared to mice receiving empty capsules. This decrease was significant for IL-6 and HGF at 3 h. Measurement of liver regeneration showed no significant difference between mice transplanted with hepatocytes compared to control groups. Intraperitoneal transplantation of encapsulated immortalized hepatocytes significantly improved survival of mice with acute liver failure by providing metabolic support and without modifying liver regeneration. The lower levels of cytokines implicated in liver regeneration suggest that the metabolic support provided by the encapsulated hepatocytes reduced the inflammatory stress on the liver and herein decreased the regenerative trigger on residual hepatocytes. These data emphasize that metabolic function and regeneration of hepatocytes are two distinct aspects that need to be studied and approached separately during acute liver failure.

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Keywords: Acute liver failure; Encapsulation; Hepatocyte transplantation; Immortalized human hepatocytes; Liver regeneration; Xenotransplantation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Surgical Research Unit, Department of Surgery, University Hospital Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland

Publication date: 2011-11-01

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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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