Autologous bone marrow cell infusions suppress tumor initiation in hepatocarcinogenic mice with liver cirrhosis

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We have previously reported the efficacy and safety of autologous bone marrow cell infusion (ABMi) therapy for liver cirrhosis patients without hepatocellular carcinoma in a multicenter clinical trial. However, since liver cirrhosis is highly oncogenic, evaluation of the effects of ABMi on the mechanisms of hepatocarcinogenesis is of great importance. Therefore, frequent ABMi was performed in hepatocarcinogenic mice, and its effects on hepatocarcinogenesis were analyzed. The N-nitrosodiethylamine (DEN)/green fluorescent protein (GFP)-carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) model was developed by administering DEN once, followed by repeated administration of CCl4 intraperitoneally as for the control group. In the administration (ABMi) group, GFP-positive bone marrow cells were infused through a tail vein. The kinetics of hepatocarcinogenesis were evaluated histologically 4.5 months after DEN treatment. At 4.5 months, there was significantly lower incidence of foci and tumors in the ABMi group, and they were smaller in number, while their size was almost equal. No GFP-positive tumors were found in ABMi livers. Moreover, ABMi livers showed significantly reduced liver fibrosis, consistent with significantly lower 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine levels, higher superoxide dismutase activity, and increased nuclear translocation of nuclear factor-erythroid 2 p45-related factor 2. These results demonstrate that frequent ABMi might contribute to suppressed tumor initiation during stages of hepatocarcinogenesis, consistent with improvements in liver fibrosis and stabilization of redox homeostasis.

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