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Cancer Res. 1988 Jan 15;48(2):368-78.

Promotion of growth and differentiation of rat ductular oval cells in primary culture.

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1
Laval University Cancer Research Center, Hôtel-Dieu Hospital, Québec, Canada.

Abstract

Oval cells emerging in rat liver at the early period of 3-methyl-4-dimethylaminoazobenzene treatment constitute a mixed epithelial cell compartment with respect to alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) and cytokeratin differential expression, and include a subpopulation which exhibits a phenotype intermediate between ductular cells and hepatocytes (Germain et al., Cancer Res., 45:673-681, 1985). In the present study we have examined the developmental potential of ductular oval cells in primary culture and after in vivo transfer. The use of monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies directed against cytokeratins of Mr 39,000 (CK39), 52,000 (CK52), and 55,000 (CK55) and vimentin, and also monoclonal antibodies against exposed surface components of oval cells (BDS7) and normal hepatocytes (HES6) allowed us to establish the ductular phenotype of the oval cells. A highly enriched preparation of oval cells was obtained by perfusion/digestion of the liver with collagenase, treatment of the cell suspension with trypsin and DNase, selective removal of hepatocytes by panning using the anti-HES6 antibody, and cell separation by isopyknic centrifugation in a Percoll gradient. The procedure yielded about 8 x 10(7) cells, of which 95% expressed CK39, CK52, and BDS7, 84% gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase, and 5% albumin and AFP. The primary response of cultured oval cells to various combinations of growth and differentiation promoting factors was evaluated with respect to their capacity to initiate DNA synthesis as measured by [3H]thymidine labeling from day 1 to 3, and/or to produce albumin and AFP and express tyrosine aminotransferase. Culture in the presence of either serum or clot blood extract resulted in a low proliferative activity with less than 5% of the nuclei being labeled. Over a 5-day period, fusion of a large portion of the oval cells led to multinucleated cells. When the cells were cultured in the presence of an elaborate combination of supplements [minimum essential medium containing 1 mM pyruvate, 0.2 mM aspartate, 0.2 mM serine, 1 mM tyrosine, 1 mM proline, 1 mM phenylalanine and supplemented with 20% clot blood extract, 10 ng/ml oxidized bile acids, 17 microM bilirubin, 10 ng/ml cholera toxin, 1 microM dexamethasone, 2.5 micrograms/ml insulin, 50 mM beta-mercaptoethanol, and 5 micrograms/ml transferrin (medium MX)], the labeling index increased to around 30% and the level of cell fusion greatly decreased. The addition of dimethyl sulfoxide further enhanced the initiation of DNA synthesis, while sodium butyrate acted as an inhibitor.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

PMID:
2446746
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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