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Cell Transplant. 1999 Nov-Dec;8(6):649-59.

Xenogeneic transplantation of porcine hepatocytes into the CCl4 cirrhotic rat model.

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Department of Medicine, Boston Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine, MA 02118, USA.


Liver support using extracorporeal devices and hepatocyte transplantation has received renewed interest for the management of acute and chronic liver failure. The aim of this study was to determine whether xenogeneic porcine hepatocytes could integrate into the liver parenchyma of cirrhotic Lewis rats when administered by an intrasplenic route. Cirrhosis was induced by carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) inhalation and confirmed histologically. Freshly isolated porcine hepatocytes were infused directly into the splenic pulp at laparotomy over a 5-15-min interval. Using (111)In-labeled hepatocytes, the degree of localization of porcine hepatocytes to the spleen and liver was found to be greater than 60% in both control and cirrhotic rats. Integration of porcine hepatocytes into the rat liver parenchyma was determined by immunohistochemical staining for porcine albumin in rat liver sections. Further confirmation was provided by in situ hybridization using a porcine-specific probe that binds to a distinct repetitive element (PRE) in porcine DNA. Evidence of integrated porcine hepatocytes was seen for over 50 days in animals under cyclosporine immunosuppression. These data demonstrate the integration of xenogeneic porcine hepatocytes into the liver of the cirrhotic rat and their ability to produce porcine albumin for up to 50 days.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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