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J Vis Exp. 2016 Aug 29;(114). doi: 10.3791/54167.

Generation of a Humanized Mouse Liver Using Human Hepatic Stem Cells.

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Department of Regenerative Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, Yokohama City University.
Department of Regenerative Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, Yokohama City University; Department of Advanced Gastroenterological Surgical Science and Technology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tsukuba; Regenerative Medicine Research Center, Jiangsu University Hospital;


A novel animal model involving chimeric mice with humanized livers established via human hepatocyte transplantation has been developed. These mice, in which the liver has been repopulated with functional human hepatocytes, could serve as a useful tool for investigating human hepatic cell biology, drug metabolism, and other preclinical applications. One of the key factors required for successful transplantation of human hepatocytes into mice is the elimination of the endogenous hepatocytes to prevent competition with the human cells and provide a suitable space and microenvironment for promoting human donor cell expansion and differentiation. To date, two major liver injury mouse models utilizing fumarylacetoacetate hydrolase (Fah) and uroplasminogen activator (uPA) mice have been established. However, Fah mice are used mainly with mature hepatocytes and the application of the uPA model is limited by decreased breeding. To overcome these limitations, Alb-toxin receptor mediated cell knockout (TRECK)/SCID mice were used for in vivo differentiation of immature human hepatocytes and humanized liver generation. Human hepatic stem cells (HpSCs) successfully repopulated the livers of Alb-TRECK/SCID mice that had developed lethal fulminant hepatic failure following diphtheria toxin (DT) treatment. This model of a humanized liver in Alb-TRECK/SCID mice will have functional applications in studies involving drug metabolism and drug-drug interactions and will promote other in vivo and in vitro studies.

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