Article: article from journal or magazin.
Chronic iron overload inhibits protein secretion by adult rat hepatocytes maintained in long-term primary culture.
European journal of cell biology
Short-term pure cultures and long-term cocultures of adult rat hepatocytes with rat liver epithelial cells, presumably derived from primitive biliary cells, were used to define in vitro models of iron overloaded hepatocytes in order to understand the molecular mechanism responsible for liver damage occurring in patients with hemochromatosis. In vitro iron overload was obtained by daily addition of ferric nitrilotriacetate to the culture medium. A concentration of 20 microM ferric salt induced hepatocyte iron overload with minimal cytotoxicity as evaluated by cell viability, morphological changes of treated cells and cytosolic enzyme leakage into the culture medium. The effects of iron overload on protein biosynthesis and secretion were studied in both short-term pure cultures and long-term cocultures of hepatocytes. The amounts of intracellular and newly synthesized proteins were never modified by the iron treatment. Furthermore, neither the relative amounts of transferrin and albumin mRNAs nor their translational products were altered by iron overload. Moreover, no change in the transferrin isomeric forms were observed in treated cells. In contrast, a prolonged exposure of cocultured hepatocytes to 20 microM ferric salt led to a significant decrease in the amount of proteins secreted in the medium. This decrease included the two major secreted proteins, namely albumin and transferrin, and probably all other secreted proteins. These results demonstrate that iron loading alters neither the total nor the liver specific protein synthesis activity of cultured hepatocytes. They suggest that chronic overload may impede the protein secretion process.
Albumins, Animals, Cells, Cultured, Gene Expression Regulation, Iron, Liver, RNA, Messenger, Rats, Rats, Inbred Strains, Time Factors, Transferrin
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