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Exp Cell Res. 1984 Sep;154(1):38-52.

A diploid epithelial cell line from normal adult rat liver with phenotypic properties of 'oval' cells.


A diploid epithelial cell line (termed WB-F344) was isolated from the liver of an adult male Fischer-344 rat and the phenotypic characteristics of the cells were studied. These cells measure approximately two-fifths the volume of freshly isolated hepatocytes. They are histochemically negative for glucose-6-phosphatase and weakly positive for gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase. They produce extensive intercellular reticulin fibers which stain immunocytochemically for fibronectin, and they synthesize both alpha-fetoprotein and albumin, but they do not accumulate glycogen particles. Ultrastructurally, they are polygonal cells with numerous intercellular desmosomes and nexus junctions, and they are partially surrounded by basement membrane-like material. Cytoplasmic organelles include few, but sometimes dilated profiles of rough endoplasmic reticulum, lysosomes, abundant free ribosomes, sparse smooth endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi membranes, microbodies, and small, pleomorphic mitochondria. They express A and C isozymes of aldolase, K isozyme of pyruvate kinase, LDH2 to LDH5 isozymes of lactate dehydrogenase, and 'fetal liver'-type alkaline phosphatase isozyme. When compared with the phenotypes of isolated and purified normal hepatocytes, biliary epithelial (ductular) cells and 'oval' cells isolated from livers treated with chemical carcinogens, the phenotypic properties of the liver epithelial cell line in culture most resemble those of the 'oval' cells.

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