ASAIO 2008

Florian Vondran's paper "Isolation of primary human hepatocytes after partial hepatectomy: criteria for identification of the most promising liver specimen." has been published in the March issue of Artificial Organs (Artif Organs 2008, 32: 205-213). Demands for primary human hepatocytes are continuously increasing, while supply is insufficient due to limited cell sources. To improve cell availability, the present study investigates the influence of donor liver characteristics on the outcome of hepatocyte isolation from surgically removed liver tissue (n = 50). Hepatocytes were isolated from liver specimens using a standardized two-step collagenase perfusion technique. The patient's sex, previous chemotherapy, or histopathology have shown no influence. Donor age significantly affected the isolation outcome, but was not found suitable for predicting cell yields. Preoperative blood parameters did not correlate with cell yield, although cell function was affected: total protein, albumin synthesis, and cell viability were significantly decreased for serum gamma-glutamyl-transferase (GGT) levels >60 U/L. Specimens from patients with benign diseases gave significantly higher cell yields than tissue removed due to secondary and primary tumors, respectively. The indication for surgery is a valuable basis for identifying the most yielding specimens. Hepatocytes from donors with high GGT levels appear to show reduced functional properties.