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Anal Biochem. 1992 Jul;204(1):147-51.

Electroporation-mediated gene transfer into hepatocytes: preservation of a growth hormone response.

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  • 1Centre de Pharmacologie-Endocrinologie, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Montpellier, France.


An electroporation procedure is described which allows the introduction of foreign genes into freshly isolated rat hepatocytes while preserving their growth hormone responsiveness. A single-pulse procedure performed at low voltage (150-200 V) but with high capacitance (960 microF), conditions which caused minimal cell damage and increased hepatocyte survival in culture (greater than 80%), was found to be optimal for both the basal and the hormone-stimulated expression of transfected genes. Transfection of the cells suspended in a phosphate buffer at high concentrations (20-25 x 10(6)/ml) with large amounts of plasmid (30 micrograms/assay) gave the best results. Raising the temperature up to 25 or 37 degrees C (instead of 4 degrees C) decreased about twofold basal CAT expression but appeared to increase the magnitude (i.e., fold induction) of hormonal effects. Expression of the reporter gene driven by either a viral or a liver gene promoter reached a maximum after 24 h, a situation especially favorable when studying liver-specific gene expression known to decay rapidly in cultured hepatocytes. This procedure was successfully applied to the study of a growth hormone-dependent serine protease inhibitor gene promoter.

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