Human liver cell spheroids in extended perfusion bioreactor culture for repeated-dose drug testing

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Abstract

Primary cultures of human hepatocyte spheroids are a promising in vitro model for long-term studies of hepatic metabolism and cytotoxicity. The lack of robust methodologies to culture cell spheroids, as well as a poor characterization of human hepatocyte spheroid architecture and liver-specific functionality, have hampered a widespread adoption of this three-dimensional culture format. In this work, an automated perfusion bioreactor was used to obtain and maintain human hepatocyte spheroids. These spheroids were cultured for 3-4 weeks in serum-free conditions, sustaining their phase I enzyme expression and permitting repeated induction during long culture times; rate of albumin and urea synthesis, as well as phase I and II drug-metabolizing enzyme gene expression and activity of spheroid hepatocyte cultures, presented reproducible profiles, despite basal interdonor variability (n = 3 donors). Immunofluorescence microscopy of human hepatocyte spheroids after 3-4 weeks of long-term culture confirmed the presence of the liver-specific markers, hepatocyte nuclear factor 4a, albumin, cytokeratin 18, and cytochrome P450 3A. Moreover, immunostaining of the atypical protein kinase C apical marker, as well as the excretion of a fluorescent dye, evidenced that these spheroids spontaneously assemble a functional bile canaliculi network, extending from the surface to the interior of the spheroids, after 3-4 weeks of culture. Conclusion: Perfusion bioreactor cultures of primary human hepatocyte spheroids maintain a liver-specific activity and architecture and are thus suitable for drug testing in a long-term, repeated-dose format.
Original languageUnknown
Pages (from-to)1227-1236
JournalHepatology
Volume55
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012

Cite this

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title = "Human liver cell spheroids in extended perfusion bioreactor culture for repeated-dose drug testing",
abstract = "Primary cultures of human hepatocyte spheroids are a promising in vitro model for long-term studies of hepatic metabolism and cytotoxicity. The lack of robust methodologies to culture cell spheroids, as well as a poor characterization of human hepatocyte spheroid architecture and liver-specific functionality, have hampered a widespread adoption of this three-dimensional culture format. In this work, an automated perfusion bioreactor was used to obtain and maintain human hepatocyte spheroids. These spheroids were cultured for 3-4 weeks in serum-free conditions, sustaining their phase I enzyme expression and permitting repeated induction during long culture times; rate of albumin and urea synthesis, as well as phase I and II drug-metabolizing enzyme gene expression and activity of spheroid hepatocyte cultures, presented reproducible profiles, despite basal interdonor variability (n = 3 donors). Immunofluorescence microscopy of human hepatocyte spheroids after 3-4 weeks of long-term culture confirmed the presence of the liver-specific markers, hepatocyte nuclear factor 4a, albumin, cytokeratin 18, and cytochrome P450 3A. Moreover, immunostaining of the atypical protein kinase C apical marker, as well as the excretion of a fluorescent dye, evidenced that these spheroids spontaneously assemble a functional bile canaliculi network, extending from the surface to the interior of the spheroids, after 3-4 weeks of culture. Conclusion: Perfusion bioreactor cultures of primary human hepatocyte spheroids maintain a liver-specific activity and architecture and are thus suitable for drug testing in a long-term, repeated-dose format.",
keywords = "RAT HEPATOCYTE SPHEROIDS, GENE-EXPRESSION, OXYGEN, INDUCTION, SYSTEM, METABOLISM, MASS-TRANSFER",
author = "Alves, {Paula Maria} and Montes, {Ana Catarina} and Manuel Carrondo",
year = "2012",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1002/hep.24760",
language = "Unknown",
volume = "55",
pages = "1227--1236",
journal = "Hepatology",
issn = "0270-9139",
publisher = "John Wiley & Sons, Ltd",
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TY - JOUR

T1 - Human liver cell spheroids in extended perfusion bioreactor culture for repeated-dose drug testing

AU - Alves, Paula Maria

AU - Montes, Ana Catarina

AU - Carrondo, Manuel

PY - 2012/1/1

Y1 - 2012/1/1

N2 - Primary cultures of human hepatocyte spheroids are a promising in vitro model for long-term studies of hepatic metabolism and cytotoxicity. The lack of robust methodologies to culture cell spheroids, as well as a poor characterization of human hepatocyte spheroid architecture and liver-specific functionality, have hampered a widespread adoption of this three-dimensional culture format. In this work, an automated perfusion bioreactor was used to obtain and maintain human hepatocyte spheroids. These spheroids were cultured for 3-4 weeks in serum-free conditions, sustaining their phase I enzyme expression and permitting repeated induction during long culture times; rate of albumin and urea synthesis, as well as phase I and II drug-metabolizing enzyme gene expression and activity of spheroid hepatocyte cultures, presented reproducible profiles, despite basal interdonor variability (n = 3 donors). Immunofluorescence microscopy of human hepatocyte spheroids after 3-4 weeks of long-term culture confirmed the presence of the liver-specific markers, hepatocyte nuclear factor 4a, albumin, cytokeratin 18, and cytochrome P450 3A. Moreover, immunostaining of the atypical protein kinase C apical marker, as well as the excretion of a fluorescent dye, evidenced that these spheroids spontaneously assemble a functional bile canaliculi network, extending from the surface to the interior of the spheroids, after 3-4 weeks of culture. Conclusion: Perfusion bioreactor cultures of primary human hepatocyte spheroids maintain a liver-specific activity and architecture and are thus suitable for drug testing in a long-term, repeated-dose format.

AB - Primary cultures of human hepatocyte spheroids are a promising in vitro model for long-term studies of hepatic metabolism and cytotoxicity. The lack of robust methodologies to culture cell spheroids, as well as a poor characterization of human hepatocyte spheroid architecture and liver-specific functionality, have hampered a widespread adoption of this three-dimensional culture format. In this work, an automated perfusion bioreactor was used to obtain and maintain human hepatocyte spheroids. These spheroids were cultured for 3-4 weeks in serum-free conditions, sustaining their phase I enzyme expression and permitting repeated induction during long culture times; rate of albumin and urea synthesis, as well as phase I and II drug-metabolizing enzyme gene expression and activity of spheroid hepatocyte cultures, presented reproducible profiles, despite basal interdonor variability (n = 3 donors). Immunofluorescence microscopy of human hepatocyte spheroids after 3-4 weeks of long-term culture confirmed the presence of the liver-specific markers, hepatocyte nuclear factor 4a, albumin, cytokeratin 18, and cytochrome P450 3A. Moreover, immunostaining of the atypical protein kinase C apical marker, as well as the excretion of a fluorescent dye, evidenced that these spheroids spontaneously assemble a functional bile canaliculi network, extending from the surface to the interior of the spheroids, after 3-4 weeks of culture. Conclusion: Perfusion bioreactor cultures of primary human hepatocyte spheroids maintain a liver-specific activity and architecture and are thus suitable for drug testing in a long-term, repeated-dose format.

KW - RAT HEPATOCYTE SPHEROIDS

KW - GENE-EXPRESSION

KW - OXYGEN

KW - INDUCTION

KW - SYSTEM

KW - METABOLISM

KW - MASS-TRANSFER

U2 - 10.1002/hep.24760

DO - 10.1002/hep.24760

M3 - Article

VL - 55

SP - 1227

EP - 1236

JO - Hepatology

JF - Hepatology

SN - 0270-9139

IS - 4

ER -