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Beyond liver transplants: Acutely damaged livers may be repaired via transplanted hepatocytes
Date:2/1/2010

Tampa, Fla. (Feb. 01, 2010) A research team from the National Taiwan University Hospital has evaluated the efficiency of transplanted hepatocyte (liver) cells in animal models severely damaged by two kinds of chemical toxicity to see whether and how transplanted hepatocytes were able to efficiently repopulate the toxin-induced, severely damaged livers. The results of this study are published in the current double issue of Cell Transplantation (18:10/11) and are freely available on-line at http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/cog/ct/ .

The study was carried out in the on-going effort to evaluate hepatocyte transplantation as an alternative to liver transplantation, not only because of the current shortage of liver donors for transplantation, but also because successful cell transplantation is simpler, less invasive and less expensive than organ (i.e., liver) transplantation.

The researchers found that animal model of livers with damage induced from combined retrosine-plus-D-galactosamine (as opposed to animals infused with single toxins) were subject to "massive repopulation of the liver by transplanted hepatocyte cells and hepatocyte growth factor genes."

"We observed rapid infiltration of transplanted hepatocytes into the necrotic and inflammatory hepatic parenchyma within 24 hours of the R+D-gal treated liver, but not the D-gal alone or R-alone treated livers," reported corresponding author Dr. Mei-Hwei Chang. "This result suggests that the higher proliferative activity of transplanted hepatocytes (as compared to host hepatocytes) take over regeneration signals and proliferate. This finding is clinically important because hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and levels of transforming growth factor-a (TGF-a) which are known to stimulate cell proliferation - are strongly elevated in patients with acute liver failure." Post-hepatocyte transplantation, the researchers
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Contact: Dr. Mei-Hwei Chang
changmh@ntu.edu.tw
Cell Transplantation Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair
Source:Eurekalert

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