Objective: The aim of the study was to investigate the in vitro effects of sera from children with acute liver failure (ALF) who had received N-acetylcysteine (NAC) on the metabolic and synthetic activity of cryopreserved human hepatocytes.
Materials and methods: Cryopreserved human hepatocytes were plated on collagen-coated culture plates and incubated in cell culture medium containing pooled sera at 20% (v/v) obtained from children with ALF (ALF) who received treatment with NAC (ALF + NAC), no treatment with NAC and from normal controls (normal sera [NS]). The effects of the sera on cell metabolic functions were assessed using methylthiazolyldiphenyltetrazolium bromide, [14C]-leucine incorporation, and cytochrome P-450 (CYP1A1/2) activity assays.
Results: The overall hepatocyte metabolic activity was lower with ALF sera than with NS and ALF + NAC sera. [14C]-leucine incorporation was higher with both ALF sera (ALF and ALF + NAC) than with NS sera. There was a slightly higher activity of cytochrome P450 (CYP1A1/2 activity) in cultures treated with ALF and ALF + NAC than with normal sera treated hepatocyte cultures.
Conclusions: Sera from children with ALF who received NAC did not impair the overall cell metabolic activity of cryopreserved human hepatocyte in vitro, which is encouraging for the use of hepatocytes transplantation in these patients.