Establishment of a tightly regulated human cell line for the development of hepatocyte transplantation.

N. Kobayashi, H. Noguchi, T. Watanabe, T. Matsumura, T. Totsugawa, T. Fujiwara, K. Westerman, P. Leboulch, I. J. Fox, N. Tanaka

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Hepatocyte transplantation (HTX) could be an attractive treatment for patients with liver failure and liver-based metabolic disease. Human primary hepatocytes are ideal in this modality, but the shortage of human livers available for hepatocyte isolation severely limits the use of this form of therapy. A tightly regulated human hepatocyte cell line that grows economically in culture and exhibits differentiated liver functions would be an attractive alternative to the primary human hepatocytes. To test the feasibility, human hepatocytes were immortalized by a retroviral vector expressing simian virus 40 large T antigen and herpes simplex virus-thymidine kinase. A highly differentiated immortal hepatocyte line NKNT-3 was established. NKNT-3 cells grew in chemically defined serum-free medium, retained highly differentiated liver functions, and were sensitivity to ganciclovir as a prodrug. Essentially unlimited availability of NKNT-3 cells may be clinically useful for HTX and bioartificial liver.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-13
Number of pages7
JournalHuman cell : official journal of Human Cell Research Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Cancer Research


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