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Tissue Eng. 2000 Oct;6(5):467-79.

Xenobiotic metabolism by cultured primary porcine hepatocytes.

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  • 1Centre for Engineering in Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School and Shriners Hospitals for Children, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA.


Considering the large yield of viable cells comparable to human liver, primary porcine hepatocytes offer a valuable resource for constructing a bioartificial liver device. In this study, the ability of cultured primary porcine hepatocytes to detoxify xenobiotics has been examined using various known substrates of cytochrome P450 isoenzymes and UDP-glucuronosyltransferases. Present investigation demonstrated the stability of the isoenzymes responsible for the metabolism of diazepam in native state and stabilization of other isoenzymes, as judged by ethoxycoumarin o-dealkylase (ECOD), ethoxyresorufin o-dealkylase (EROD), benzyloxyresorufin o-dealkylase (BROD), and pentoxyresorufin o-dealkylase (PROD) activities following induction in culture environment, for a period of 8 days. Resorufin O-dealkylase activities were found to be the most unstable and deteriorated within first 5 days in culture. These activities were restored following induction with 3-methylcholanthrene (3-MC) or sodium phenobarbital (PB) to 20-fold of 1 activity for EROD, and 60 and 174% of day 1 activity for PROD and BROD on day 8, respectively. Metabolism of methoxyresorufin was most strikingly increased following induction with 3-MC to approximately 60-fold of day 1 activity, on day 8. UDP-glucuronosyltransferase-dependent glucuronidation of phenol red, however, stayed intact during the course of our study without induction. Our study indicated that porcine hepatocytes in vitro maintain many important liver-specific functions including detoxification (steady state and inducibility).

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