Transplantation of SDF-1α-loaded liver extracellular matrix repopulated with autologous cells attenuated liver fibrosis in a rat model
Keywords:liver extracellular matrix scaffold, stromal derived factor-1α, granulocyte colony stimulating factor, endogenous progenitor cells mobilization, in vivo tissue engineering, liver fibrosis
Cell-based therapy and tissue engineering are promising substitutes for liver transplantation to cure end-stage liver disorders. However, the limited sources for healthy and functional cells and poor engraftment rate are main challenges to the cell-based therapy approach. On the other hand, feasibility of production and size of bioengineered tissues are primary bottlenecks in tissue engineering. Here, we induce regeneration in a rat fibrotic liver model by transplanting a natural bioengineered scaffold with a native microenvironment repopulated with autologous stem/progenitor cells. In the main experimental group, a 1 mm3 stromal derived factor-1α (SDF-1α; S) loaded scaffold from decellularized liver extracellular matrix (LEM) was transplanted (Tx) into a fibrotic liver and the endogenous stem/progenitor cells were mobilized via granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF; G) therapy. Four weeks after transplantation, changes in liver fibrosis and necrosis, efficacy of cell engraftment and differentiation, vasculogenesis, and liver function recovery were assessed in this (LEM-TxSG) group and compared to the other groups. We found significant reduction in liver fibrosis stage in the LEM-TxSG, LEM-TxS and LEM-TxG groups compared to the control (fibrotic) group. Liver necrosis grade, and alanine transaminase (ALT) and aspartate transaminase (AST) levels dramatically reduced in all experimental groups compared to the control group. However, the number of engrafted cells into the transplanted scaffold and ratio of albumin (Alb) positive cells per total incorporated cells were considerably higher in the LEM-TxSG group compared to the LEM-Tx, LEM-TxS and LEM-TxG groups. Serum Alb levels increased in the LEM-Tx, LEM-TxS, and LEM-TxG groups, and was highest in the LEM-TxSG group, which was significantly more than the fibrotic group. Small vessel formation in the LEM-TxSG group was significantly higher than the LEM-Tx and LEM-TxS groups. Totally, these findings support application of the in vivo tissue engineering approach as a possible novel therapeutic strategy for liver fibrosis.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Mostafa Najar-Asl, Hossein Bahadoran, Mohammad-Hossein Asadi, Mona Saheli, Mohammad-Hassan Asghari, Niloofar Sodeifi, Mohammad Kazemi Ashtiani, Massoud Vosough, Hossein Baharvand, Abbas Piryaei
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