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Reuters Health Information (2004-06-01): Murine intestinal segments successfully house auxiliary livers


Murine intestinal segments successfully house auxiliary livers

Last Updated: 2004-06-01 15:58:42 -0400 (Reuters Health)

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - In rats, containers made from small intestinal segments provide suitable housing for functionally competent auxiliary livers, researchers report in the May 30th advance online issue of Nature Medicine.

"The auxiliary liver represents a totally new concept, which offers exciting opportunities for investigating basic mechanisms in how new blood vessels form, how various tissue cells interact with one another and how tissues are remodeled during health and disease," senior investigator Dr. Sanjeev Gupta told Reuters Health.

Dr. Gupta of Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York and colleagues divided the small intestine of rats in two places and the outer ends were joined to allow gastrointestinal integrity.

The mucosa of the vascularized 2-cm segment of the small intestine was removed and one end was closed. The container was then used to house up to 0.5 g of liver microfragments transplanted from other animals. This amounted to about 5% of the native liver mass.

There was evidence of revascularization as well as maintenance of metabolic function, secretory function and hepatobiliary excretory function in the auxiliary livers, "which are all appropriate elements for successful applications of auxiliary livers," the researchers write.

Furthermore, the tissues remained intact for the 6-week duration of the study and there was no ischemic injury or hepatocellular proliferation.

Dr. Gupta concluded that this ability to transplant healthy tissue in a manner "that maintains liver function will offer new ways for treating patients with a rapidly failing liver, those with complications of chronic liver failure, and those with genetic conditions, where deficient functions can be replaced by transplanted liver tissue."

Nat Med 2004.

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