[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The mechanisms by which hepatic function is maintained after extensive parenchymal loss are unclear. In this study, we propose a novel concept of "functional heterogeneity" of hepatocytes based on their different expression of acetylated histones, the markers of active gene transcription, to explain the powerful compensatory capability of the liver. In the healthy human liver, only a fraction of the hepatocytes were marked by acetylated histones (ac-H2AK5, ac-H2BK5, ac-H3K9, ac-H3K14, ac-H3K27, and ac-H3K9/14). With the progression of cirrhosis, the ratio of the positive cells was gradually elevated, accompanied by the gradual exhaustion of the negative cells. By examining the global transcriptome of the mouse hepatocytes, we observed that the primed genes in the positive cells were much more numerous than those in negative cells. In a 70% hepatectomized mouse, the remnant hepatocytes were extensively activated, and the liver function was well maintained even when regeneration was severely inhibited. The functional compensation was absolutely dependent on the elevated expression of acetyl-histones. Additionally, when liver regeneration was blocked, the metabolism-related genes seemed to be preferentially transcribed. In conclusion, we demonstrate that normally, part of the active hepatocytes are competent for routine physiological requirements. The inactive hepatocytes, delicately regulated by acetyl-histones, act as a functional reservoir for future activation to restore the liver function after massive parenchymal loss.
American Journal Of Pathology 09/2011; 179(3):1138-47. · 4.52 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Innovative cell-based therapies, including hepatic tissue engineering following hepatocyte transplantation, are considered as theoretical alternatives to liver transplant or for partial replacement of liver function in patients. However, recent progress in hepatic tissue engineering has been hampered by low initial hepatocyte engraftment and insufficient blood supply in vivo. We developed an intact 3D scaffold of an extracellular matrix (ECM) derived from a decellularized liver lobe, with layer-by-layer (LbL) heparin deposition to avoid thrombosis, which we repopulated with hepatocytes and successfully implanted as a tissue-engineered liver (TEL) into the portal system. The TEL provided sufficient volume for transplantation of cell numbers representing up to 10% of whole-liver equivalents and was perfused by portal vein blood. Treatment of extended hepatectomized rats with a TEL improved liver function and prolonged survival; mean lifespan was extended from 16 to 72 h. At 72 h postoperation, the TEL sustained functional and viable hepatocytes. In conclusion, we propose the TEL as a state-of-the-art substitute for whole-liver transplantation and as a proof of concept for the technology that will eventually allow for the transplantation of a reconstituted liver.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To date, serum biochemistry examination and routine biopsy are the most commonly used methods to assess renal function after allogenic kidney transplantation. Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) has been considered as a biomarker of chronic renal allograft injury characterized by tubular atrophy and interstitial fibrosis (TA/IF). This study explored the potential value of urinary CTGF as an early predictor of TA/IF using a rat model.
A Fisher to Lewis allogenic rat kidney transplant model was established and the recipients were killed at weeks 4, 8 and 12 post-transplantation. TA/IF was graded based on Banff Schema 1997. The location and expression of CTGF mRNA were detected by oligonucleotide-primed in situ DNA synthesis and quantitative polymerase chain reaction. CTGF protein expression was examined with immunohistochemistry and immunoblotting. Urinary CTGF concentration was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The correlation between urinary CTGF concentration and serum creatinine (SCr) and Banff score was analysed statistically.
Typical morphological changes including TA/IF in allograft appeared at week 8 and became very severe at week 12 post-transplantation. CTGF expression in epithelium was up-regulated early and urinary CTGF was markedly elevated from week 4. SCr in recipients was stable before week 8 but increased tremendously at week 12. Urinary CTGF concentration was positively correlated with SCr and degree of interstitial fibrosis.
Urinary CTGF increases earlier than the appearance of biochemical abnormalities and pathological changes. Measurement of urinary CTGF may offer a potential non-invasive strategy to predict the early onset of chronic renal allograft injury.
Scandinavian Journal of Urology and Nephrology 01/2009; 43(5):390-9. · 1.01 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Many strategies are explored to ameliorate kidney allograft tubular atrophy and interstitial fibrosis (TA/IF), but little progress has been achieved. The latest evidence suggested that CD133+ cell in kidney represent a potential multipotent adult resident stem cell population that may contribute to the renal injury repair. Here we investigate whether the CD133+ cells exist in transplanted renal and exert a growth and self-repair procedure in TA/IF.
Allografts from rat kidney transplant models were harvested at 4 weeks, 8 weeks and 12 weeks post transplantation. We performed immunohistochemistry to detect the CD133+ cells and immunofluorescence to detect the co-expression of CD133 or Pax-2 with Ki-67. We furthermore analysed the E-cadherin using serial sections.
CD133+ cells were seldom seen in control kidney, but distributed sporadically in the cortex parenchyma along with the deterioration of TA/IF. The number of CD133+ cell increased after 4 weeks and reached the peak at 8 weeks, then decreased at 12 weeks. From 8 weeks, some new tubules expressing E-cadherin were constructed with CD133+ cells. Almost all the CD133+ cells were Ki-67-positive, but not all the Ki-67+ cells expressed CD133. The rest Ki-67+ cells almost expressed Pax-2.
Our study reveals that when majority of the tubules are damaged, a self-repair mechanism is evoked by potential adult stem cells to compensate the renal function. Thus, potential adult resident stem cells offer a new avenue for autologous cell therapies in TA/IF.