Primary cultures and the levels of cytochrome P450 in hepatocytes from mouse, rat, hamster, and rabbit liver

In Vitro. 1982 Aug;18(8):683-93. doi: 10.1007/BF02796423.


Hepatocyte primary cultures (HPC) derived from rat, mouse, hamster, and rabbit liver were characterized for a variety of parameters. The conditions that maximized recovery, attachment, and survival varied between species. Hepatocytes from all four species were capable of attaching in serum-free Williams' medium E (WME), but optimal attachment as monolayer cultures was achieved for mouse and hamster HPC in medium receiving 1% calf serum supplementation. Hamster hepatocytes required additional cations, whereas rabbit and rat hepatocytes displayed maximal attachment in medium supplemented with 10% calf serum. Survival of mouse and rabbit hepatocytes after 24 h in serum supplemented media was in the order of 90%. Rat and hamster hepatocyte 24 h survival was approximately 70 and 60%, respectively, and was not significantly affected by serum supplementation. Hepatocytes from each species varied in their content of cytochrome P450 at the time of isolation and in the rate of reduction during culture. Mouse and rat hepatocytes demonstrated the most rapid decline in content during the initial 24 h in culture, whereas concentrations in rabbit hepatocytes were virtually unchanged. The rate of decline in P450 concentrations in hamster hepatocytes was intermediate between those displayed by rat and rabbit hepatocytes. These studies have delineated conditions useful for the culture of hepatocytes from four species and have documented the status of an important parameter of their functional capability.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Survival
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cricetinae
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / metabolism*
  • Liver / cytology
  • Liver / enzymology*
  • Male
  • Mesocricetus
  • Mice
  • Rabbits
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred F344
  • Species Specificity


  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System