Functionality of cultured human hepatocytes from elective samples, cadaveric grafts and hepatectomies

Toxicol In Vitro. 2003 Oct-Dec;17(5-6):769-74. doi: 10.1016/s0887-2333(03)00122-x.


The major possible sources of human liver for hepatocyte isolation are elective liver biopsies, cadaveric liver grafts and therapeutic liver resections. The suitability in terms of metabolic-competent hepatocyte cultures and risk/benefit of these resources has been comparatively studied. To this end, viability of isolated hepatocytes, yield of isolation procedure, hepatocyte survival during culture and CYP activities were the parameters analysed. The best results were found in hepatocytes prepared from elective biopsies, whereas a marked reduction in viability and functional competence was seen in hepatocytes from hepatectomy samples. Metabolic differences were observed in total CYP oxidative metabolism (7-ethoxycoumarin O-deethylation, total testosterone hydroxylation), as well as in CYP3A4, CYP2C9 or CYP2C19 activities (testosterone oxidations at 6beta-, 16beta- and 17-positions, respectively). Vascular control during the hepatectomy procedure influenced hepatocyte functionality: higher CYP activities were found in hepatocytes isolated from samples obtained under non-ischemic conditions or continuous vascular clamping than in those obtained under intermittent vascular clamping. In addition to cellular functionality, other criteria such as sample availability or ethical aspects should be considered. Elective biopsies have low, but not absent, surgical risk. However, the better functionality and the higher accessibility of elective liver samples in comparison to the other groups suggest this source of liver tissue as the most appropriate for cell harvesting purposes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bayes Theorem
  • Cadaver*
  • Cell Survival / physiology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Decision Support Techniques
  • Hepatectomy*
  • Hepatocytes / cytology*
  • Hepatocytes / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Liver / cytology
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Liver / surgery
  • Liver Transplantation
  • Perfusion
  • Tissue and Organ Harvesting / methods*