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Crit Rev Toxicol. 2006 Apr;36(4):299-318.

Involvement of cell junctions in hepatocyte culture functionality.

Author information

  • 1Department of Toxicology, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Brussels, Belgium. mvinken@vub.ac.be

Abstract

In liver, like in other multicellular systems, the establishment of cellular contacts is a prerequisite for normal functioning. In particular, well-defined cell junctions between hepatocytes, including adherens junctions, desmosomes, tight junctions, and gap junctions, are known to play key roles in the performance of liver-specific functionality. In a first part of this review article, we summarize the current knowledge concerning cell junctions and their roles in hepatic (patho)physiology. In a second part, we discuss their relevance in liver-based in vitro modeling, thereby highlighting the use of primary hepatocyte cultures as suitable in vitro models for preclinical pharmaco-toxicological testing. We further describe the actual strategies to regain and maintain cell junctions in these in vitro systems over the long-term.

PMID:
16809101
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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