New potential cell source for hepatocyte transplantation: discarded livers from metabolic disease liver transplants

Stem Cell Res. 2013 Jul;11(1):563-73. doi: 10.1016/j.scr.2013.03.002. Epub 2013 Mar 27.


Domino liver transplantation is a method used to increase the number of liver grafts available for orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT). Reports indicate that livers from patients with metabolic liver disease can be safely transplanted into select recipients if the donor's defect and the recipient's metabolic needs are carefully considered. The liver of patients with many types of metabolic liver disease is morphologically and biochemically normal, except for the mutation that characterizes that disease. Other biochemical functions normally performed by the liver are present and presumably "normal" in these hepatocytes. Hepatocytes were isolated from the liver of 35 organ donors and 35 liver tissues taken at OLT from patients with liver disease were analyzed for 9 different measures of viability and function. The data indicate that cells isolated from some diseased livers performed as well or better than those isolated from organ donors with respect to viability, cell yield, plating efficiency and in assays of liver function, including drug metabolism, conjugation reactions and ammonia metabolism. Cells from metabolic diseased livers rapidly and efficiently repopulated a mouse liver upon transplantation.

Conclusions: As with domino liver transplantation, domino cell transplantation deserves consideration as method to extend the pool of available organs and cells for transplantation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Hepatocytes / cytology
  • Hepatocytes / metabolism
  • Hepatocytes / transplantation*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Liver / pathology*
  • Liver / surgery
  • Liver Diseases / metabolism
  • Liver Diseases / pathology*
  • Liver Diseases / surgery
  • Liver Transplantation / methods*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Young Adult