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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Dec 18;104(51):20507-11. Epub 2007 Dec 11.

Repopulation of adult and neonatal mice with human hepatocytes: a chimeric animal model.

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Laboratory of Genetics, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, 10010 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.


We report the successful transplantation of human hepatocytes in immunodeficient, fumarylacetoacetate hydrolase-deficient (fah(-/-)) mice. Engraftment occurs over the entire liver acinus upon transplantation. A few weeks after transplantation, increasing concentrations of human proteins (e.g., human albumin and human C3a) can be measured in the blood of the recipient mouse. No fusion between mouse and human hepatocytes can be detected. Three months after transplantation, up to 20% of the mouse liver is repopulated by human hepatocytes, and sustained expression of lentiviral vector transduced gene can be observed. We further report the development of a hepatocyte transplantation method involving a transcutaneous, intrahepatic injection in neonatal mice. Human hepatocytes engraft over the entire injected lobe with an expansion pattern similar to those observed with intrasplenic transplantation.

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