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Open Access Adipose-Derived Stem Cells Can Abrogate Chemical-Induced Liver Fibrosis and Facilitate Recovery of Liver Function

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Adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) are easy to harvest and have the ability for self-renewal and to differentiate into various cell types, including those of the hepatic lineage. Studies on the use of ADSCs for liver transplantation are, however, limited. The objective of this study was to investigate the feasibility of using human ADSCs and to better understand their mechanism of action for the repair of liver damage in a thioacetamide (TAA)-induced model of chronic liver damage in the rat. To induce liver damage, 200 mg/kg TAA was injected intraperitoneally into Wistar rats every 3 days for 60 days. For cell therapy, 1 × 106 human ADSCs suspended in 300 μl of phosphate-buffered saline were transplanted into each experimental rat by direct liver injection. Immunohistochemistry showed that the transplanted ADSCs differentiated into albumin- and α-fetoprotein-secreting liver-like cells 1 week after transplantation. In addition, liver function recovered significantly, as determined by biochemical analyses that analyzed total bilirubin, prothrombin time, and albumin levels. The Metavir score, derived from histopathological analysis, also showed a significant decrease in liver fibrosis and inflammatory activity after ADSC transplantation. Finally, we found a reduction in the expression of α-smooth muscle actin, a marker of hepatic stellate cells, which produce collagen fiber, and an increase in the expression of matrix metalloproteinase-9, which degrades collagen fiber, after ADSC transplantation. These findings are consistent with abrogation of liver fibrosis in the ADSC therapy group. Consequently, these results suggest that ADSC transplantation may facilitate recovery from chronic liver damage and thus may have clinical applications.

Keywords: Adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs); Liver fibrosis; Matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9); Thioacetamide

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2012-12-01

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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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