Parenchymal cells from adult rat liver have been established in primary monolayer culture. Donor animals are subjected to a partial hepatectomy and, 4 days later, cells are prepared by collagenase perfusion of the regenerated liver. The hepatic parenchymal cells, separated from nonparenchymal material and suspended in serum-free medium, are placed in plastic tissue culture dishes, where they form a monolayer within 24 h. The monolayer cells exhibit minimal mitotic activity and demonstrate several major metabolic functions characteristic of liver in vivo; these include albumin synthesis and secretion, gluconeogenesis from 3-carbon precursors, responsiveness to insulin and glucagon, glycogen synthesis, and activity of two microsomal enzymes. These functions are present in the monolayer cells for several days at activities similar to those observed in the liver in vivo. The findings indicate that hepatic parenchymal cells in this monolayer system are viable and behave in many respects like normal adult rat liver.

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