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Biotechnol Bioeng. 2006 Nov 5;95(4):661-70.

Wheat extracts as an efficient cryoprotective agent for primary cultures of rat hepatocytes.

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  • 1Département des Sciences Biologiques, Université du Québec à Montréal, C.P. 8888, Succursale Centre-ville, Montréal, Québec H3C 3P8, Canada.


Hepatocytes are an important physiological model for evaluation of metabolic and biological effects of xenobiotics. They do not proliferate in culture and are extremely sensitive to damage during freezing and thawing, even after the addition of classical cryoprotectants. Thus improved cryopreservation techniques are needed to reduce cell injury and functional impairment. Here, we describe a new and efficient cryopreservation method, which permits long-term storage and recovery of large quantities of healthy cells that maintain high hepatospecific functions. In culture, the morphology of hepatocytes cryopreserved with wheat protein extracts (WPE) was similar to that of fresh cells. Furthermore, hepatospecific functions such as albumin secretion and biotransformation of ammonium to urea were well maintained during 4 days in culture. Inductions of CYP1A1 and CYP2B in hepatocytes cryopreserved with WPEs were similar to those in fresh hepatocytes. These findings clearly show that WPEs are an excellent cryopreservant for primary hepatocytes. The extract was also found to cryopreserve other human and animal cell types such as lung carcinoma, colorectal adenocarcinoma, Chinese hamster ovary transfected with TGF-b1 cDNA, cervical cancer taken from Henrietta Lacks, intestinal epithelium, and T cell leukemia. WPEs have potential as a universal cryopreservant agent of mammalian cells. It is an economic, efficient and non-toxic agent.

(c) 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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