Safety evaluation of stem cells used for clinical cell therapy in chronic liver diseases; with emphasize on biochemical markers
There are several issues to be considered to reduce the risk of rejection and minimize side effects associated with liver cell transplantation in chronic liver diseases. The source and the condition of stem cell proliferation and differentiation ex vivo and the transplantation protocols are important safety considerations for cell based therapy. The biochemical and molecular markers are important tools for safety evaluation of different processes of cell expansion and transplantation. Studies show that hepatocytes differentiated from adult and embryonic stem cells exhibit biochemical and metabolic properties resembling mature hepatocytes. Therefore these assays can help to assess the biological and metabolic performance of hepatocytes and progenitor stem cells. The assays also help in testing the contribution of transplanted hepatocytes in improving the repair and function of damaged liver in the recipient. Here we review the biochemical and metabolic markers, which are implicated in evaluation of safety issues of stem cells used for therapeutic purposes in chronic liver diseases and regeneration of damaged liver. We also highlight application of biochemical tests for assessment of liver cell transplantation. (C) 2012 The Canadian Society of Clinical Chemists. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.