Article: article from journal or magazin.
Aggregate cultures of foetal rat liver cells: development and maintenance of liver gene expression.
Biology of the Cell
Rotation-mediated aggregate cultures of foetal rat liver cells were prepared and grown in a chemically defined medium. Their capacity for cellular organisation and maturation was studied over a culture period of 3 wk by using both morphologic and biochemical criteria. It was found that within each aggregate, distinct liver cell types were present and attained their normal, differentiated phenotype. Parenchymal cells formed small acini with a central lumen. Within the first 2 wk in culture, albumin and ferritin mRNA levels were maintained, while the alpha-fetoprotein mRNA levels decreased, and tyrosine aminotransferase (TAT) gene expression increased. No significant response to glucocorticoids was observed in early cultures, whereas after 3 wk a marked increase in TAT mRNA levels was elicited by dexamethasone and glucagon (additive stimulatory effects). The results show that foetal rat liver cells cultured in a chemically defined medium are able to rearrange themselves into histotypic structures, and display a developmental pattern of gene expression comparable to that of perinatal rat liver in vivo. This culture system offers therefore a useful model to study the development and function of liver cells.
Albumins/genetics, Animals, Cell Aggregation, Cells, Cultured, Dexamethasone/pharmacology, Ferritins/genetics, Gene Expression Regulation/drug effects, Glucagon/pharmacology, Liver/cytology, Liver/embryology, Microscopy, Electron, Rats, Time Factors, Tyrosine Transaminase/genetics
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