Author(s): Pan XP, Li LJ
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) is the most effective therapy for liver failure. However, OLT is severely limited by the shortage of liver donors. Bioartificial liver (BAL) shows great potential as an alternative therapy for liver failure. In recent years, progress has been made in BAL regarding genetically engineered cell lines, immortalized human hepatocytes, methods for preserving the phenotype of primary human hepatocytes, and other functional hepatocytes derived from stem cells. DATA SOURCES: A systematic search of PubMed and ISI Web of Science was performed to identify relevant studies in English language literature using the key words such as liver failure, bioartificial liver, hepatocyte, stem cells, differentiation, and immortalization. More than 200 articles related to the cell sources of hepatocyte in BAL were systematically reviewed. RESULTS: Methods for preserving the phenotype of primary human hepatocytes have been successfully developed. Many genetically engineered cell lines and immortalized human hepatocytes have also been established. Among these cell lines, the incorporation of BAL with GS-HepG2 cells or alginate-encapsulated HepG2 cells could prolong the survival time and improve pathophysiological parameters in an animal model of liver failure. The cBAL111 cells were evaluated using the AMC-BAL bioreactor, which could eliminate ammonia and lidocaine, and produce albumin. Importantly, BAL loading with HepLi-4 cells could significantly improve the blood biochemical parameters, and prolong the survival time in pigs with liver failure. Other functional hepatocytes differentiated from stem cells, such as human liver progenitor cells, have been successfully achieved. CONCLUSIONS: Aside from genetically modified liver cell lines and immortalized human hepatocytes, other functional hepatocytes derived from stem cells show great potential as cell sources for BAL. BAL with safe and effective liver cells may be achieved for clinical liver failure in the near future.
This article was published in Hepatobiliary Pancreat Dis Int
and referenced in Journal of Biomimetics Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering