Isolated hepatocytes, harvested from normal rat livers by portal vein collagenase perfusion, can be attached to collagen-coated dextran microcarriers and transplanted by intraperitoneal injection into rats. Survival and function of the transplanted hepatocytes have been demonstrated in mutant rats lacking bilirubin-uridine diphosphate glucuronosyltransferase activity (Gunn strain) and rats with inherited lack of plasma albumin (Nagase analbuminemia rat strain). This simple technique promises to be useful in the treatment of acute liver failure in humans.

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