Preclinical efficacy and safety of encapsulated proliferating human hepatocyte organoids in treating liver failure

Cell Stem Cell. 2024 Apr 4;31(4):484-498.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2024.02.005. Epub 2024 Mar 7.


Alginate-encapsulated hepatocyte transplantation is a promising strategy to treat liver failure. However, its clinical application was impeded by the lack of primary human hepatocytes and difficulty in controlling their quality. We previously reported proliferating human hepatocytes (ProliHHs). Here, quality-controlled ProliHHs were produced in mass and engineered as liver organoids to improve their maturity. Encapsulated ProliHHs liver organoids (eLO) were intraperitoneally transplanted to treat liver failure animals. Notably, eLO treatment increased the survival of mice with post-hepatectomy liver failure (PHLF) and ameliorated hyperammonemia and hypoglycemia by providing liver functions. Additionally, eLO treatment protected the gut from PHLF-augmented permeability and normalized the increased serum endotoxin and inflammatory response, which facilitated liver regeneration. The therapeutic effect of eLO was additionally proved in acetaminophen-induced liver failure. Furthermore, we performed assessments of toxicity and biodistribution, demonstrating that eLO had no adverse effects on animals and remained non-tumorigenic.

Keywords: encapsulation; liver failure; liver organoids transplantation; proliferating human hepatocytes.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Hepatocytes
  • Humans
  • Liver
  • Liver Failure* / metabolism
  • Liver Failure* / therapy
  • Liver Failure, Acute* / chemically induced
  • Liver Failure, Acute* / therapy
  • Mice
  • Organoids / metabolism
  • Tissue Distribution