The potential of bone marrow stem cells to correct liver dysfunction in a mouse model of Wilson's disease

Katrina J. Allen, Daphne M.Y. Cheah, Ling Lee Xiao, Nicole E. Pettigrew-Buck, Jim Vadolas, Julian F.B. Mercer, Panayiotis A. Ioannou, Robert Williamson

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25 Citations (Scopus)


Metabolic liver diseases are excellent targets for correction using novel stern cell, hepatocyte, and gene therapies. In this study, the use of bone marrow stem cell transplantation to correct liver disease in the toxic milk (tx) mouse, a murine model for Wilson's disease, was evaluated. Preconditioning with sublethal irradiation, dietary copper loading, and the influence of cell transplantation sites were assessed. Recipient tx mice were sublethally irradiated (4 Gy) prior to transplantation with bone marrow stem cells harvested from normal congenic (DL) littermates. Of 46 transplanted tx mice, 11 demonstrated genotypic repopulation in the liver. Sublethal irradiation was found to be essential for donor cell engraftment and liver repopulation. Dietary copper loading did not improve cell engraftment and repopulation results. Both intravenously and intrasplenically transplanted cells produced similar repopulation successes. Direct evidence of functionality and disease correction following liver repopulation was observed in the 11 mice where liver copper levels were significantly reduced when compared with mice with no liver repopulation. The reversal of copper loading with bone marrow cells is similar to the level of correction seen when normal congenic liver cells are used. Transplantation of bone marrow cells partially corrects the metabolic phenotype in a mouse model for Wilson's disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)765-773
Number of pages9
JournalCell Transplantation
Issue number7-8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Bone marrow
  • Irradiation
  • Liver
  • Transplantation
  • tx mouse
  • Wilson's disease

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