Hepatocyte transplantation has excited much interest among investigators for applications in cell therapy and studies of fundamental mechanisms concerning liver biology. Progress in these areas has been greatly facilitated by the development of novel animal models. An understanding of early events during engraftment of transplanted cells is essential for optimal repopulation of the liver. Insights into how transplanted cells integrate in the parenchyma of the liver with reconstitution of specific plasma membrane structures is critical in devising therapeutic strategies for specific disorders. Moreover, these insights are necessary for understanding mechanisms concerning regulation of cell proliferation and gene expression in transplanted hepatocytes. Finally, analysis of the safety of cell transplantation is necessary for clinical applications of liver repopulation with cell transplantation. This review highlights selected advances in related areas concerning liver repopulation.
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