Growth of human hepatoma cells lines with differentiated functions in chemically defined medium

Cancer Res. 1982 Sep;42(9):3858-63.


A human hepatoma cell line, HuH-7, which was established from a hepatocellular carcinoma, was found to replicate continuously in a chemically defined medium when the medium was supplemented with Na2SeO3. The cells grew better in this medium than in serum-containing medium without any adaptation period. Other established human hepatoma and hepatoblastoma cell lines, HuH-6 cl-5, PLC/PRF/5, huH-1, and huH-4, also grew in the defined medium. Although HLEC-1 cells failed to proliferate continuously with Na2SeO3 alone, they grew if a cell-free conditioned medium from HuH-7 cells was added to the medium. These cell lines, except the HLEC-1 cell line, produced the following human plasma proteins among those examined: albumin, prealbumin, alpha 1-antitrypsin, ceruloplasmin, fibrinogen, fibronectin, haptoglobin, hemopexin, beta-lipoprotein, alpha 2-macroglobulin, beta 2-microglobulin, transferrin, lipoprotein, alpha 2-macroglobulin, beta 2-microglobulin, transferrin, Complement Components 3 and 4, and alpha 1-fetoprotein. Beside plasma proteins, the media from HuH-7, HuH-6 cl-5, PLC/PRF/5, and huH-1 contained anti-carcinoembryonic antigen-reactive proteins, and those from PLC/PRF/5, huH-1, and huH-4 medium contained hepatitis B surface antigen. These proteins were detected during periods of serial cultivation over 9 months under the above culture conditions. The hepatoma cell lines grown in the fully defined synthetic medium may provide a new approach for investigating the growth and metabolism of human hepatoma cells in vitro.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Blood
  • Blood Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Carbohydrate Metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / pathology*
  • Cell Division
  • Cell Line*
  • Culture Media
  • Humans
  • Karyotyping
  • Kinetics
  • Lactalbumin
  • Liver Neoplasms
  • Selenium / pharmacology
  • Selenium Compounds*
  • Selenium Oxides


  • Blood Proteins
  • Culture Media
  • Selenium Compounds
  • Selenium Oxides
  • Lactalbumin
  • Selenium