The only treatment available for end stage liver diseases is orthotopic liver transplantation. Although there is a big donor scarcity, many donor livers are discarded as they do not qualify for transplantation. Alternatively, decellularization of discarded livers can potentially render them transplantable upon recellularization and functional testing. The success of this approach will heavily depend on the quality of decellularized scaffolds which might show variability due to factors including age. Here we assessed the age-dependent differences in liver extracellular matrix (ECM) using rat and human livers. We show that the liver matrix has higher collagen and glycosaminoglycan content and a lower growth factor content with age. Importantly, these changes lead to deterioration in primary hepatocyte function potentially due to ECM stiffening and integrin-dependent signal transduction. Overall, we show that ECM changes with age and these changes significantly affect cell function thus donor age should be considered as an important factor for bioengineering liver substitutes.
|Original language||English (US)|
|State||Published - Mar 2021|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ceramics and Composites
- Mechanics of Materials
- Extracellular matrix