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Biol Cell. 2008 Jul;100(7):387-98. doi: 10.1042/BC20070127.

Which in vitro models could be best used to study hepatocyte polarity?

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INSERM, U757, Orsay, France.


The correct functioning of the liver is ensured by the setting and the maintenance of hepatocyte polarity. The complex polarity of the hepatocyte is characterized by the existence of several basolateral and apical poles per cell. Many in vitro models are available for studying hepatocyte polarity, but which are the more suitable? To answer this question, we aimed to identify criteria which determine the typical hepatocyte polarity. Therefore, we compiled a range of protein markers of membrane domains in rat hepatocytes and investigated their involvement in hepatocytic functions. Then, we focused on the relationship between hepatic functions and the cytoskeleton, Golgi apparatus and endoplasmic reticulum. Subsequently, we compared different cell lines expressing hepatocyte polarity. Finally, to demonstrate the usefulness of some of these lines, we presented new data on endoplasmic reticulum organization in relation to polarity.

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