Isolated hepatocytes were prepared from normal and diseased human livers and maintained in primary monolayer culture for up to 96 h. The viability and yields of cell preparations obtained from diseased livers did not differ significantly from those obtained from normal livers. During the culture period a significant increase in cell protein/DNA ratio was observed in both normal and diseased hepatocytes. The maintenance of a number of drug metabolising enzyme activities was determined in these hepatocytes during 96 h of culture. In normal hepatocytes the maintenance pattern of mixed-function oxidase activities (ethoxycoumarin-O-deethylase and ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase) was clearly different from that of the conjugating enzymes (sulfotransferase and glutathione transferase). Whereas ethoxycoumarin-O-deethylase and ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase activities declined sharply over the first 24 h in culture and then either totally or partially recovered, sulfotransferase and glutathione transferase activities were found to be relatively more stable initially but thereafter decline progressively. In diseased hepatocytes mixed-function oxidase activities were maintained less well than the corresponding activities in normal hepatocytes whereas conjugation enzyme activities were maintained to a similar extent.