Cell transplantation for liver support
|Coordinator||Karolinska institutet - Institutionen för klinisk vetenskap, intervention och teknik|
|Funding from Vinnova||SEK 2 350 000|
|Project duration||October 2008 - September 2011|
Purpose and goal
Cell transplantation for liver supportOur aim is to establish a hepatocyte transplantation research program were we implement experimental treatment in the clinic and offer new alternatives for patients with impaired liver function. Through collaborative efforts between leading labs in the US and Sweden we intend to develop methods to improve cell transplantation for liver based diseases. The major areas of research involve techniques to; improve liver cell isolation and quality control testing prior to transplantation, to improve the engraftment and proliferation of transplanted cells, and to investigate alternative cell sources for transplantation including stem and progenitor cells.
Expected results and effects
Cell transplantation for liver support in humans is an experimental treatment not yet routinely available in Scandinavia and we will be the first group to establish research and clinical treatment in this area. Our goal is to become the referral Center in Sweden and in the long run, the Nordic countries. Our unique set-up with a strong research program incorporated directly under the clinical transplant program will give us an advantage. We will have ample access to research materials and our goal is to translate innovative research into clinical therapy in a safe and effective manner.
Planned approach and implementation
Our main focus will be to improve this technique by several different approaches. In long term collaboration with the US lab, we will develop/share techniques to improve isolation and quality control procedures. By density separation and study of proliferation, engraftment and preservation of different subpopulations of liver cells we will identify those most useful for transplantation. We will investigate novel methods to precondition recipient liver to enhance engraftment or proliferation of donor cells. We will examine the efficacy of high pressure (hydrodynamic) cell infusion and pretreatment of a liver with agents that are toxic when concentrated, but harmless upon systemic dilution. For clinical relevance, both small animals and large animals will be studied. We propose to evaluate alternative sources of cells for transplant including fetal hepatocytes / hepatic progenitors, embryonic stem cells and placenta derived stem like cells.