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Tissue Eng. 2007 Jun;13(6):1235-46.

Time-related analysis of metabolic liver functions, cellular morphology, and gene expression of hepatocytes cultured in the bioartificial liver of the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam (AMC-BAL).

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1
Department of Surgery (Surgical Laboratory), Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Abstract

A comprehensive understanding of the mechanisms that underlie hepatic differentiation inside a bioartificial liver (BAL) device is obtained when functional, histological, and gene expression analyses can be combined. We therefore developed a novel cell-sampling technique that enabled us to analyze adherent hepatocytes inside a BAL device during a 5-day culture period, without the necessity of terminating the culture. Biochemical data showed that hepatocyte-specific functions were relatively stable, despite an increase in glycolytic activity. Quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction analysis of hepatic genes cytochrome p450 3A29, albumin, glutamine synthetase, alpha-1 antitrypsin, and carbamoyl-phosphate synthetase, but also de-differentiation marker pi-class glutathione S transferase showed stable messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) levels from day 1 to 5. In contrast, mRNA levels of alpha-fetoprotein, pro- and anti-apoptotic genes Bax-alpha and Bcl-X(L), metabolic genes lactate dehydrogenase and uncoupling protein 2, and cytoskeleton genes alpha- and beta-tubulin and beta-actin increased in 5 days. Histological analysis revealed viable tissue-like structures with adaptation to the in vitro environment. We conclude that hepatocytes show a tendency for de-differentiation shortly after seeding but thereafter remain acceptably differentiated during 5 days of culture. Furthermore, partly impaired mitochondrial function is suggestive for local hypoxic regions and may trigger the observed metabolic changes. Anti-apoptotic activity seems to balance pro-apoptotic activity. This new cell-sampling technique facilitates the analysis of dynamic processes of hepatocyte culture inside a BAL.

PMID:
17518723
DOI:
10.1089/ten.2006.0343
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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