Sung-W Lee, Xia Wang, Namita Roy-Chowdhury, Jayanta Roy-Chowdhury
Over three decades of research in experimental animals and several clinical trials have brought us to the threshold of hepatocyte transplantation for the treatment of acute and chronic liver failure, and inherited metabolic disorders. However, more extensive clinical studies and routine clinical application are hampered by the shortage of good quality of donor cells. To overcome these hurdles, current research has focused on the search for alternatives to adult primary hepatocytes, such as liver cell progenitors, fetal hepatoblasts, embryonic, bone marrow or umbilical cord blood stem cells and conditionally immortalized hepatocytes. Cross-species hepatocyte transplantation is also being explored. It is hoped that ongoing research will permit the application of hepatocyte transplantation to the treatment of a wide array of liver diseases.
Key words. Hepatocytes, transplantation, acute liver failure, chronic liver failure, inherited disorders