Recent advances in the isolation of liver cells

Hepatology. 1994 Aug;20(2):494-514.


The development of new and refined separation techniques--including FACS, FFE, CFE and isopyknic gradients--has had a profound impact on the ability of investigators to isolate specific cell types from the liver. Although some of these techniques, such as FFE, may be of limited preparative value, they are nonetheless important analytical tools that detect subtle differences among cell subpopulations. The isolation of highly purified preparations of liver cells in large yields requires the use of more conventional purification methods such as CFE and isopyknic centrifugation. Immunological approaches represent a key development for the isolation of specific liver cell types, especially when they are used in combination with other techniques. Excellent, reliable and relatively simple techniques now exist to isolate highly purified preparations of hepatocytes, cholangiocytes, KCs, SCs, FSC, myofibroblasts and pit cells. Additional work is necessary to refine techniques for the isolation of dendritic cells and lymphocytes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bile Ducts / cytology
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Cell Separation* / methods
  • Cell Survival
  • Centrifugation
  • Electrophoresis
  • Epithelial Cells
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Kupffer Cells / cytology
  • Lectins / pharmacology
  • Liver / chemistry
  • Liver / cytology*
  • Lymphocytes / cytology
  • Rats


  • Biomarkers
  • Lectins