Time course of cytochromes P450 decline during rat hepatocyte isolation and culture: effect of L-NAME

Toxicol In Vitro. 2003 Feb;17(1):59-67. doi: 10.1016/s0887-2333(02)00118-2.


The present work describes an isozyme-related effect of collagenase perfusion on hepatocyte microsomal cytochrome (CYP)-dependent monooxygenase activities: CYP 1A1/2-, 2B1/2-, 3A1/2- and 2E1-dependent activities in microsomes from rat hepatocytes after isolation were about 60% of that of liver microsomes, and CYP 4A1-dependent activity was equivalent to liver microsomes. In contrast, the microsomal protein content of the various CYP isoforms was not affected by hepatocyte isolation. This is in accordance with the hypothesis of CYP inactivation during the process of hepatocyte isolation by collagenase digestion. L-NAME (1 mM) was found unable to protect from the decline of CYP-dependent monooxygenase activities following hepatocyte isolation. It is possible that the decrease in glutathione peroxidase activity observed in the presence of L-NAME, namely depression of defense against peroxynitrite, could counteract the beneficial effect of L-NAME on nitric oxide synthesis inhibition. The present work also shows that L-NAME could not avoid the progressive, isoform-specific, most probably turnover-related, decline of CYP proteins and related monooxygenase activities in cultured hepatocytes. Dysregulations in the mechanisms of CYP expression in rat hepatocyte cultures, presently unknown but nitric oxide independent, thus appear to occur in cultured rat hepatocytes.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Culture Techniques
  • Collagenases / pharmacology
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / metabolism*
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Hepatocytes
  • Kinetics
  • Microsomes, Liver
  • NG-Nitroarginine Methyl Ester / pharmacology*
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System
  • Collagenases
  • NG-Nitroarginine Methyl Ester