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Open Access Clinical Outcome of Hepatocyte Transplantation in Four Pediatric Patients With Inherited Metabolic Diseases

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Hepatocyte transplantation (HT) has become an effective therapy for patients with metabolic inborn errors. We report the clinical outcome of four children with metabolic inborn errors that underwent HT, describing the cell infusion protocol and the metabolic outcome of transplanted patients. Cryopreserved hepatocytes were used as this allows scheduling of treatments. Functional competence (viability, cell attachment, major cytochrome P450 and UDP-glucuronosyltransferase 1A1 activities, and urea synthesis) and microbiological safety of cell batches were assessed prior to clinical use. Four pediatric patients with liver metabolic diseases [ornithine transcarbamylase (OTC) deficiency, Crigler‐Najjar (CNI) syndrome, glycogen storage disease Ia (GSD-Ia), and tyrosinemia type I (TYR-I)] underwent HT. Indication for HT was based on severity of disease, deterioration of quality of life, and benefits for the patients, with the ultimate goal to improve their clinical status whenever liver transplantation (LT) was not indicated or to bridge LT. Cells were infused into the portal vein while monitoring portal flow. The protocol included antibiotic prophylaxis and immunosuppressant therapy. After HT, analytical data on the disease were obtained. The OTC-deficient patient showed a sustained decrease in plasma ammonia levels and increased urea production after HT. Further cell infusions could not be administered given a fatal nosocomial fungus sepsis 2 weeks after the last HT. The CNI and GSD-Ia patients improved their clinical status after HT. They displayed reduced serum bilirubin levels (by ca. 50%) and absence of hypoglycaemic episodes, respectively. In both cases, the HT contributed to stabilize their clinical status as LT was not indicated. In the infant with TYR-I, HT stabilized temporarily the biochemical parameters, resulting in the amelioration of his clinical status while diagnosis of the disease was unequivocally confirmed by full gene sequencing. In this patient, HT served as a bridge therapy to LT.

Keywords: Crigler‐Najjar (CNI) syndrome; Cryopreservation; Glycogen storage disease Ia (GSD-Ia); Hepatocyte transplantation (HT); Human hepatocytes; Inherited metabolic diseases; Ornithine transcarbamylase (OTC) deficiency; Pediatrics; Tyrosinemia type I (TYR-I)

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Paediatric Gastroenterology and Hepatology Unit, University La Fe Hospital, Valencia, Spain

Publication date: 2012-10-01

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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.
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