Therapeutic liver repopulation for the treatment of metabolic liver diseases.

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38 Scopus citations


Orthotopic liver transplantation is the treatment of choice for many inherited and acquired liver diseases. Unfortunately, the supply of donor organs is limiting and therefore many patients cannot benefit from this therapy. In contrast, hepatocyte suspensions can be isolated from a single donor liver can be transplanted into several hosts, and this procedure may help overcome the shortage in donor livers. In classic hepatocyte transplantation, however, only 1% of the liver mass or less can be replaced by donor cells. Recently though, we have used a mouse model of hereditary tyrosinemia to show that > 90% of host hepatocytes can be replaced by a small number of transplanted donor cells in a process we term "therapeutic liver repopulation". This phenomenon is analogous to repopulation of the hematopoietic system after bone marrow transplantation. Liver repopulation occurs when transplanted cells have a growth advantage in the setting of damage to recipient liver cells. Here we will review the current knowledge of this process and discuss the hopeful implications for treatment of liver diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-180
Number of pages10
JournalHuman cell : official journal of Human Cell Research Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Cancer Research


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