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Transplant Proc. 2012 May;44(4):1116-9. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2012.03.007.

Live cell-imaging perfusion culture system of liver sinusoidal endothelial cells to mimic stem cell engraftment in liver.

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Biomedical Research Center, Lifeliver Co, Seoul, Korea.


Hepatocyte and various hepatic stem cell transplantations have been studied as alternative therapies to orthotopic liver transplantation for liver injury. The engraftment of transplanted cells into the parenchyma requires transmigration through sinusoidal endothelial cells (SECs), the only cellular barrier. In this study, we constructed a SEC-imaging perfusion culture system that mimics sinusoids with respect to hemorheologic properties. SECs were successfully maintained for 24 hours. Human liver stem cells (HLSCs) were used as a model of transplanted cells for in vitro engraftment to SECs under perfusion culture conditions. Conditions of high shear stress perfusion with 0.34 dyne/cm(2) significantly reduced cell adhesion in contrast to lower shear stress conditions of 0.1 and 0.03 dyne/cm(2). Among the biologic perfusion fluids, namely, fetal bovine serum (FBS), pig plasma, and 5% human albumin solution, HLSCs showed significantly greater attachment to SECs when perfused with FBS, which is well known to contain abundant amounts of adhesion molecules. This biomimetic SEC perfusion culture system may provide a useful tool to study engraftment mechanisms and to evaluate the effects of various enhancers as an alternative to animal models.

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