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Surg Today. 2005;35(9):705-10.

Liver repopulation: a new concept of hepatocyte transplantation.

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  • 1Department of Transplantation, Digestive Surgery, Nagasaki University Graduate School of Biomedical Science, 1-7-1 Sakamoto, Nagasaki, 852-8501, Japan.


Hepatocyte transplantation has been recognized as an alternative strategy for organ transplantation because the supply of donor livers is limited. However, in conventional hepatocyte transplantation, only 1%-10% of the liver replaced with transplanted hepatocytes. Recently a novel concept termed "liver repopulation" has been established, where the whole recipient liver can be replaced by a small number of donor hepatocytes. To induce liver repopulation, growth advantage of the donor hepatocytes against the host liver seems to be required according to the data of previous studies. Additionally, various cell sources, including bone marrow cells and other stem cells, could potentially be used as donor cells for liver repopulation. In this article, we discuss recent progress and future perspectives of this emerging technology.

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