Primary monolayer cultures were obtained in 60-mm petri dishes by incubating 3 X 10(6) isolated hepatocytes at 37 degrees C in Dulbecco's medium supplemented with 17% fetal calf serum. The ultrastructure of monolayer cells was examined after various incubation periods. Within 4 h of plating, the isolated spherical cells adhere to the plastic surface, establish their first contacts by numerous intertwined microvilli, and form new hemidesmosomes. After 12 h of culture, wide branched trabeculae of flattened polyhedral cells extend in all directions. Finally, after 24 h of culture, bile canaliculi are reconstituted, and a biliary polarity is recovered: the Golgi elements, which are scattered throughout the cytoplasm in the isolated cells, are reassembled in front of the newly formed bile canalculi, symmetrically in the adjacent cells; lysosomes are concentrated in that region, and microtubules reappear. Concomitantly, plasma membrane differentiations, namely desmosomes and tight junctions, develop. Tight junctions sealing the bile ducts constitute a barrier to the passage of ruthenium red and horseradish peroxidase. De novo formation of these junctions was studied by the freeze-etching technique: 10-nm particles compose a network of anastomosed linear arrays in the vicinity of the bile canaliculi; in the next step of differentiation, the particles fuse, form short ridge segments and finally continuous branched smooth strands, characteristic of the mature tight junction.
Adult rat hepatocytes in primary monolayer culture. Ultrastructural characteristics of intercellular contacts and cell membrane differentiations.
J C Wanson, P Drochmans, R Mosselmans, M F Ronveaux; Adult rat hepatocytes in primary monolayer culture. Ultrastructural characteristics of intercellular contacts and cell membrane differentiations.. J Cell Biol 1 September 1977; 74 (3): 858–877. doi: https://doi.org/10.1083/jcb.74.3.858
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