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Open Access Repopulation of Human Origin Hepatocyte Progenitor-Like Cell Line, THLE-5b, in the SCID Mouse Liver Under p21-Mediated Cell Growth-Arresting Conditions

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The in vivo repopulation of hepatocytes depends on donor cell growth potential and recipient conditioning. We herein demonstrate the successful cell transplantation of a human hepatocyte cell line, THLE-5b, into the SCID mouse liver by means of a rather mild conditioning using a 55% hepatectomy and p21 transfection. Adult human liver-derived cells, THLE-5b, are SV40 T antigen-immortalized epithelial cells. A phenotypic examination of THLE-5b showed they expressed hepatic stem cell markers such as EpCAM, OCT3/4, and Thy-1, thus indicating the immature nature of the cells. A three-dimensional aggregate culture of THLE-5b showed a higher expression level of liver-specific genes such as albumin, α1-antitrypsin, and CYP3A4, thus suggesting that THLE-5b possess the capability to differentiate into hepatocytes. In a cell transplantation experiment, the cell cycle regulator p21 was transfected with adenoviral vector into the SCID mouse liver. On the next day, 8 × 105 cells of GFP-transfected THLE-5b were injected intrasplenically, together with the intraperitoneal administration of anti-asialo GM1 antibodies. The following day, a partial hepatectomy was performed. The GFP-THLE-5b cells were observed to have migrated and become integrated into the liver parenchyma 14 days after transplantation. The present protocol is thus considered to be a novel experimental model to elucidate the mechanism of hepatocyte repopulation and to develop efficient stem cell therapy in the liver.

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Keywords: Human hepatocytes; Repopulation; SCID mouse liver; THLE-5b; p21

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Division for Advanced Medical Services, National Center for Child Health and Development, 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.

    Cell Transplantation is now being published by SAGE. Please visit their website for the most recent issues.

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