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Stem Cells International
Volume 2012, Article ID 697094, 6 pages
Research Article

Intrasplenic Transplantation of Bioencapsulated Mesenchymal Stem Cells Improves the Recovery Rates of 90% Partial Hepatectomized Rats

Departments of Physiology, Medicine, and Biomedical Engineering, Artificial Cells and Organs Research Center, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University, 3655 Promenade Sir William Osler, Room 1004, Montreal, QC, Canada H3G 1Y6

Received 19 May 2012; Revised 2 November 2012; Accepted 5 November 2012

Academic Editor: B. Bunnell

Copyright © 2012 Zun Chang Liu and Thomas Ming Swi Chang. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) derived from bone marrow can secrete cytokines and growth factors and can transdifferentiate into liver cells. We transplanted polymeric membrane bioencapsulated MSCs into the spleens of 90% partial hepatectomized rats. This resulted in 91.6% recovery rates. This is compared to a recovery rate of 21.4% in the 90% hepatectomized rats and 25% in the 90% hepatectomized rats receiving intrasplenic transplantation of free MSCs. After 14 days, the remnant livers in the bioencapsulated MSCs group are not significantly different in weight when compared to the sham control group. From day 1 to day 3 after surgery, in the bioencapsulated MSCs group, the plasma HGF and IL-6 were significantly higher than those in the free MSCs group and control group ( ); plasma TNF-α was significantly lower ( ). We concluded that the intrasplenic transplantation of bioencapsulated MSCs significantly increases the recovery rates of 90% hepatectomized rats. It is likely that the initial effect is from proliver regeneration factors followed later by the transdifferentiated hepatocyte-like cells. However, histopathological analysis and hepatocyte proliferation study will be needed to better understand the regenerative mechanisms of this result. This study has implications in improving the survival and recovery of patients with very severe liver failure due to hepatitis, trauma, or extensive surgical resection.