Effect of tissue-culture substratum and extracellular matrix overlay on liver-selective and xenobiotic inducible gene expression in primary rat hepatocytes

J. S. Sidhu, F. M. Farin, T. J. Kavanagh, C. J. Omiecinski

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Abstract

In a previous study, we demonstrated that a combination of certain cell culture media, hormone addition, and extracellular matrix (ECM) overlay coordinately modulated the expression of certain liver-selective genes in primary rat hepatocyte cultures, including the responsiveness of genes to phenobarbital. However, little is known about the interactions between the type of substratum upon which hepatocytes are adhered and the ECM overlay, as codeterminants of liver-selective gene expression. The present study was undertaken to compare specific substrata, including tissue culture-grade plastic, Primaria, and type 1 collagen-coated plastic, in combination with the presence or absence of standard ECM or a growth-factor-reduced ECM overlay. Hepatocyte cultures were assessed either as control cultures or subsequent to treatment for 24 h with phenobarbital (0.1 or 1 mM), or beta-naphthoflavone (22 μM), to monitor responses of hepatocytes to two prototypic gene-inducing agents. Analyses of maintenance and induction of cytochrome P450 and liver-selective gene expression included measures of mRNA levels using Northern blot and slot-blot hybridization and single cell immunofluorescence assays to measure levels of specific cytochrome P450 proteins. The results of these experiments demonstrated that hepatocyte-selective expression, including the absolute level of induction response (relative to those observed in the rat Liver in vivo) was highly dependent on the presence of ECM overlay but independent of the substratum employed. As studied herein, the establishment of optimal conditions for primary hepatocyte culture, enabling reproduction of responses observed in vivo, is important to further prospects for in vitro toxicity testing and for investigating molecular mechanisms of phenobarbital-mediated gene regulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-242
Number of pages18
JournalIn Vitro Toxicology: Journal of Molecular and Cellular Toxicology
Volume7
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Toxicology

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