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Stem and progenitor cells for liver repopulation: can we standardize the process from bench to bedside?
  1. Pau Sancho-Bru (psancho{at}clinic.ub.es)
  1. Stem Cell Institute, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
    1. Mustapha Najimi (mustapha.najimi{at}uclouvain.be)
    1. Laboratory of Pediatric Hepatology & Cell Therapy, Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium
      1. Maddalena Caruso (madda.caruso{at}gmail.com)
      1. Pediatric Research Hospital “Bambino Gesù”, Rome, Italy
        1. Karen Pawelyn (karen_pauwelyn{at}hotmail.com)
        1. Stem Cell Institute, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
          1. Tobias Cantz (cantz.tobias{at}mh-hannover.de)
          1. Junior Research Group Stem Cell Biology, Hannover Medical School, Germany
            1. Stuart J Forbes (stuart.forbes{at}ed.ac.uk)
            1. MRC/University of Edinburgh Centre for Inflammation Research, The Queen's Medical Research Institute, United Kingdom
              1. Tania Roskams (tania.roskams{at}med.kuleuven.be)
              1. Liver Research Unit of the Laboratory of Morphology and Molecular Pathology and Department of Pathol, Belgium
                1. Michael Ott (ott-mhh{at}gmx.de)
                1. Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Endocrinology, Hannover Medical School, Germany
                  1. Ursula Gehling (gehling{at}uke.uni-hamburg.de)
                  1. Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery and Visceral Transplantation, University Hospital Hamburg-Eppend, Germany
                    1. Etienne Sokal (etienne.sokal{at}uclouvain.be)
                    1. Laboratory of Pediatric Hepatology & Cell Therapy, Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium
                      1. Catherine Verfaillie (catherine.verfaillie{at}med.kuleuven.be)
                      1. Stem Cell Institute, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
                        1. Maurizio Muraca (maurizio.muraca{at}opbg.net)
                        1. Pediatric Research Hospital “Bambino Gesù”, Rome, Italy

                          Abstract

                          There has been recent progress in the isolation and characterization of stem/progenitor cells that may differentiate towards the hepatic lineage. This has raised expectations that therapy of genetic or acquired liver disease might be possible by transplanting stem/progenitor cells or their liver committed progeny. However, it is currently impossible to determine from the many documented studies which of the stem/progenitor cell populations are the best for therapy of a given disease. This is largely because of the great variability in methods used to characterize cells and their differentiation ability, variability in transplantation models and inconsistent methods to determine the effect of cell grafting in vivo. This manuscript represents a first proposal, created by a group of investigators ranging from basic biologists to clinical Hepatologists. It aims to define standardized methods to assess stem/progenitor cells or their hepatic lineage-committed progeny that could be used for cell therapy in liver disease. Furthermore standardisation is suggested for both preclinical animal models to evaluate the ability of such cells to functionally repopulate the liver, as well as for the ongoing clinical trials using mature hepatocytes. Only when these measures have been put in place the promise of stem/progenitor derived hepatocyte based therapies will become reality.

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