Background/aims: Effect of hepatocyte transplantation on long-term survival after fulminant hepatic failure was studied in rats.
Methodology: Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into: Group I (n = 65), intrasplenic hepatocyte transplantation followed by fulminant hepatic failure; Group II (n = 31), intrasplenic saline injection followed by fulminant hepatic failure; Group III (n = 24), 70% hepatectomy. For survival, 35 animals of Group I and 19 of Group II were observed. Six animals of each group were euthanized on postoperative days 1, 7, 14 and 28 to study biochemistry, liver growth rate, labeling index of proliferating cell nuclear antigen, hepatocyte growth factor and transforming growth factor.
Results: Postoperatively, Group I had a better survival than Group II. Group I also showed a better biochemical profile on day 1 as compared with Group II, and on day 28, Group I had a normal profile. On day 28, the remnant liver in Group I reached 97% of the original liver weight. Group I had a better proliferating cell nuclear antigen labeling index than Group II on day 1 and exceeded Group III on day 14. On day 1, Group I had lower levels of hepatocyte growth factor and transforming growth factor than Group II while hepatocyte growth factor on days 7, 14 and 28 showed no difference between Group I and Group III.
Conclusions: Hepatocyte transplantation has achieved a long-term survival and improved the liver regeneration in rats with fulminant hepatic failure.