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Open Access Liver Tissue Engineering Utilizing Hepatocytes Propagated in Mouse Livers In Vivo

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Recent advances in tissue engineering technologies have highlighted the ability to create functional liver systems using isolated hepatocytes in vivo. Considering the serious shortage of donor livers that can be used for hepatocyte isolation, it has remained imperative to establish a hepatocyte propagation protocol to provide highly efficient cell recovery allowing for subsequent tissue engineering procedures. Donor primary hepatocytes were isolated from human α-1 antitrypsin (hA1AT) transgenic mice and were transplanted into the recipient liver of urokinase-type plasminogen activator-severe combined immunodeficiency (uPA/SCID) mice. Transplanted donor hepatocytes actively proliferated within the recipient liver of the uPA/SCID mice. At week 8 or later, full repopulation of the uPA/SCID livers with the transplanted hA1AT hepatocytes were confirmed by blood examination and histological assessment. Proliferated hA1AT hepatocytes were recovered from the recipient uPA/SCID mice, and we generated hepatocyte sheets using these recovered hepatocytes for subsequent transplantation into the subcutaneous space of mice. Stable persistency of the subcutaneously engineered liver tissues was confirmed for up to 90 days, which was the length of our present study. These new data demonstrate the feasibility in propagating murine hepatocytes prior to the development of hepatic cells and bioengineered liver systems. The ability to regenerate and expand hepatocytes has potential clinical value whereby procurement of small amounts of tissue could be expanded to sufficient quantities prior to their use in hepatocyte transplantation or other hepatocyte-based therapies.

Keywords: Cell proliferation; Cell sheet; Hepatocyte transplantation; Liver tissue engineering; Regenerative medicine; Tissue engineering

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Institute of Advanced Biomedical Engineering and Science, Tokyo Women’s Medical University, Tokyo, Japan

Publication date: 2012-02-01

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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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