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Cell proliferation

Collagen sandwich culture affects intracellular polyamine levels of human hepatocytes.


PMID 12269903

Abstract

Extracellular matrices, like collagen layers, play an important role in preventing dedifferentiation of hepatocytes in long-term culture experiments. It has also been shown that polyamines are crucial for cell growth and liver differentiation - regeneration. Primary cultured hepatocytes with their low mitotic activity might be a valuable tool in studying the role of polyamines in differentiation. Here, our goal was to investigate whether an extracellular cell culture matrix can influence intracellular polyamine levels in human hepatocytes during long-term culture. Primary human hepatocytes were isolated from surgical tissue resections and were maintained either in single collagen (SG) or double collagen gel (DG) layer (sandwich) culture systems. Cell viability and function were examined and intracellular polyamine levels were measured using a highly sensitive high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method. Hepatocytes showed high viability in both culture systems used, but albumin secretion was diminished in SG cultured hepatocytes after 14 days. In general, total intracellular polyamine levels of hepatocytes decreased markedly in both SG and DG within the first days of culture, but remained constant until day 21 with a SG/DG ratio of about 1.4. Individual polyamines levels were dependent on the culture time and system, where spermine decreased and putrescine increased in both SG and DG over time (day 14), but spermidine increased only in DG. Our results suggest that polyamine levels, in particular putrescine, might be important regulators of hepatocyte specific function in vitro and therefore serve as a marker of differentiation for cultivated human hepatocytes.

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