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Cell Transplant. 1997 Jul-Aug;6(4):377-86.

Analysis of hepatocyte distribution and survival in vascular beds with cells marked by 99mTC or endogenous dipeptidyl peptidase IV activity.

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  • 1Marion Bessin Liver Research Center, Long Island Jewish Hospital, New Hyde Park, NY, USA.


Knowledge of the kinetics of cell distribution in vascular beds will help optimize engraftment of transplanted hepatocytes. To noninvasively localize transplanted cells in vivo, we developed conditions for labeling rat hepatocytes with 99mTc-pertechnetate. The incorporated o9mTc was bound to intracellular proteins and did not impair cell viability. When 99mTc hepatocytes were intrasplenically injected into normal rats, cells entered liver sinusoids with time-activity curves demonstrating instantaneous cell translocations. 99mTc activity in removed organs was in liver or spleen, and lungs showed little activity. However, when cells were intrasplenically transplanted into rats with portasystemic collaterals, 99mTc appeared in both liver sinusoids and pulmonary alveolar capillaries. To further localize cells, we transplanted DPPIV+ F344 rat hepatocytes into syngeneic DPPIV-recipients. Histochemical staining for DPPIV activity demonstrated engraftment of intrasplenically transplanted cells in liver parenchyma. In contrast, when 99mTc hepatocytes were injected into a peripheral vein, cells were entrapped in pulmonary capillaries but were subsequently broken down with redistribution of 99mTc activity elsewhere. Intact DPPIV+ hepatocytes were identified in lungs, whereas only cell fragments were present in liver, spleen, or kidneys. These findings indicate that although the pulmonary vascular bed offers advantages of easy accessibility and a relatively large capacity, significant early cell destruction is an important limitation.

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