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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2006 Jun 1;65(2):509-16.

External-beam radiotherapy as preparative regimen for hepatocyte transplantation after partial hepatectomy.

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  • 1Department of Radiotherapy, University Hospital Goettingen, Goettingen, Germany.



The transplantation of donor hepatocytes is considered a promising option to correct chronic liver failure through repopulation of the diseased organ. This study describes a novel selective external-beam irradiation technique as a preparative regimen for hepatocyte transplantation.


Livers of dipeptidylpeptidase IV (DPPIV)-deficient rats were preconditioned with external-beam single-dose irradiation (25 Gy) delivered to two thirds of the liver. Four days later, a one-third partial hepatectomy (PH) was performed to resect the untreated liver section, and 15 million wild-type (DPPIV+) hepatocytes were transplanted via the spleen into the recipient livers. The degree of donor-cell integration and growth was studied 8 h, 3 days, and 5 and 12 weeks after transplantation.


Transplanted hepatocytes integrated rapidly into the irradiated liver and proliferated as clusters, finally repopulating the host liver to approximately 20% hepatocyte mass. After 12 weeks, donor cells and their numerous descendents were fully integrated and expressed functional markers to the same extent as host hepatocytes.


We demonstrate that external-beam liver irradiation is sufficient to achieve partial repopulation of the host liver after hepatocyte transplantation, under the additional stimulus of one-third PH. The method described has potentially good prospects for its application in a clinically viable form of treatment.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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