It has already been established that hepatocyte transplantation (HTx) in animal models, such as both chemically and surgically induced acute liver failure, liver-based metabolic disease, and cirrhosis, resulted in significant improvement of liver function and survival. However, the efficacy of hepatocyte transplantation in secondary cholestatic liver disease is not well known. In this study, we transplanted hepatocytes into the spleen of Nagase analbuminemic rats (NARs) with common bile duct ligation (CBDL) to evaluate the function of transplanted hepatocytes by both of serum albumin levels and total bilirubin levels. CBDL was carried out on NARs to induce liver failure. Lewis rat hepatocytes were transplanted in NARs 7 days after CBDL. Animals, in groups of four, underwent the following interventions: group 1 - intrasplenic transplantation of 30 × 106 primary Lewis rat hepatocytes in NARs with CBDL (n = 4), group 2 - intrasplenic injection of 0.5 ml DMEM in NARs with CBDL (n = 4); group 3 - CBDL only (n = 4); group 4 - intrasplenic transplantation of 30 × 106 primary Lewis rat hepatocytes in NARs (n = 4). Both bilirubin levels and albumin levels in NARs with CBDL were significantly improved post-HTx. Animals receiving hepatocyte transplantation survived longer than animals in nontransplant control groups. This study indicates that hepatocytes can be transplanted to temporarily provide life-supporting liver-specific metabolic function and prolong the survival in recipient rats with liver failure induced by CBDL.
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