Tissue distribution of transplanted fetal liver cells in the human fetal recipient


      OBJECTIVE: Our purpose was to study the tissue distribution and concentrations of transplanted fetal liver cells in the human fetus. STUDY DESIGN: Radiolabeled indium 111 fetal liver cells were injected in vivo under ultrasonographic guidance into 10 normal fetuses (13 to 17 weeks of gestation) before a prostaglandin abortion. Six fetuses were injected intraperitoneally and four intracardially. Another two fetuses serving as controls were injected with indium-labeled maternal plasma. The fetuses were all alive, at least until 6 hours before expulsion. After expulsion the fetuses were dissected, and radioactivity was measured in various fetal tissues. Results for each tissue were expressed as percentages of the total injected dose. RESULTS: Significantly greater uptake of fetal liver cells in the liver, spleen, thymus, kidney, lung, and placenta was obtained with intracardiac than with intraperitoneal injection. Skeletal uptake did not differ in relation to mode of administration. With intracardiac injection uptake was greater in such parenchymal organs as the liver, spleen, and thymus (4.9%, 4.0%, and 3.9%, respectively). Uptake in the rib, clavicle, humerus, and sternum was 2.7%, 1.8%, 2.1%, and 1.1%, respectively. Placental uptake was 0.1%. The intracardiac route yielded a higher concentration of cells in different fetal organs than did injection of only radiolabeled maternal plasma, suggesting an active uptake of cells in different fetal hematopoietic organs. CONCLUSION: The mode of administration of fetal liver cells seems to be a major determinant of donor cell concentration in the transplanted human fetus and may be a significant determinant of the rate of successful engraftment. (Am J Obstet Gynecol 1997;176:49-53.)


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