Culture of HepG2 liver cells on three dimensional polystyrene scaffolds enhances cell structure and function during toxicological challenge

School of Biological and Biomedical Science, Durham University, South Road, Durham DH1 3LE, UK.
Journal of Anatomy (Impact Factor: 2.1). 11/2007; 211(4):567-76. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-7580.2007.00778.x
Source: PubMed


Cultured cells are dramatically affected by the micro-environment in which they are grown. In this study, we have investigated whether HepG2 liver cells grown in three dimensional (3-D) cultures cope more effectively with the known cytotoxic agent, methotrexate, than their counterparts grown on traditional two dimensional (2-D) flat plastic surfaces. To enable 3-D growth of HepG2 cells in vitro, we cultured cells on 3-D porous polystyrene scaffolds previously developed in our laboratories. HepG2 cells grown in 3-D displayed excellent morphological characteristics and formed numerous bile canaliculi that were seldom seen in cultures grown on 2-D surfaces. The function of liver cells grown on 3-D supports was significantly enhanced compared to activity of cells grown on 2-D standard plasticware. Unlike their 2-D counterparts, 3-D cultures were less susceptible to lower concentrations of methotrexate. Cells grown in 3-D maintained their structural integrity, possessed greater viability, were less susceptible to cell death at higher levels of the cytotoxin compared to 2-D cultures, and appeared to respond to the drug in a manner more comparable to its known activity in vivo. Our results suggest that hepatotoxicity testing using 3-D cultures might be more likely to reflect true physiological responses to cytotoxic compounds than existing models that rely on 2-D culture systems. This technology has potential applications for toxicity testing and drug screening.

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    • "A comparison of HepG2 cells grown in monolayer and 3D culture revealed improved albumin production in 3D culture (Chang and Hughes- Fulford, 2009; Mueller et al., 2011). Additionally, 3D culturing significantly improved formation of bile canaliculi (Bokhari et al., 2007). "
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    ABSTRACT: Reconstituted three-dimensional (3D) liver models obtained by engrafting hepatic cells into an extracellular matrix (ECM) are valuable tools to study tissue regeneration, drug action and toxicology ex vivo. The aim of the present study was to establish a system for the functional investigation of a viral vector in a 3D liver model composed of human HepG2 cells on a rat ECM. An adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector expressing the Emerald green fluorescent protein (EmGFP) and a short hairpin RNA (shRNA) directed against human cyclophilin b (hCycB) was injected into the portal vein of 3D liver models. Application of the vector did not exert toxic effects, as shown by analysis of metabolic parameters. Six days after transduction, fluorescence microscopy analysis of EmGFP production revealed widespread distribution of the AAV vectors. After optimization of the recellularization and transduction conditions, averages of 55 and 90 internalized vector genomes per cell in two replicates of the liver model were achieved, as determined by quantitative PCR analysis. Functionality of the AAV vector was confirmed by efficient shRNA-mediated knockdown of hCycB by 70-90%. Our study provides a proof-of-concept that a recellularized biological ECM provides a valuable model to study viral vectors ex vivo.
    Journal of Biotechnology 09/2015; 212:134-143. DOI:10.1016/j.jbiotec.2015.08.012 · 2.87 Impact Factor
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    • "For HepG2, which have been previously shown to form compact 3D spheroids in 3D cell-culture systems [27]–[30], we also studied the effects of lipid-reduced conditions in a 3-dimensional (3D) cell culture system that mimics natural tissues and organs more closely than 2-dimensional (2D) cell culture system. In normal growth conditions a time-dependent increase in size of spheroids was observed (Figure 2a). "
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    ABSTRACT: Increased lipogenesis is a hallmark of a wide variety of cancers and is under intense investigation as potential antineoplastic target. Although brisk lipogenesis is observed in the presence of exogenous lipids, evidence is mounting that these lipids may adversely affect the efficacy of inhibitors of lipogenic pathways. Therefore, to fully exploit the therapeutic potential of lipid synthesis inhibitors, a better understanding of the interrelationship between de novo lipid synthesis and exogenous lipids and their respective role in cancer cell proliferation and therapeutic response to lipogenesis inhibitors is of critical importance. Here, we show that the proliferation of various cancer cell lines (PC3M, HepG2, HOP62 and T24) is attenuated when cultured in lipid-reduced conditions in a cell line-dependent manner, with PC3M being the least affected. Interestingly, all cell lines - lipogenic (PC3M, HepG2, HOP62) as well as non-lipogenic (T24) - raised their lipogenic activity in these conditions, albeit to a different degree. Cells that attained the highest lipogenic activity under these conditions were best able to cope with lipid reduction in term of proliferative capacity. Supplementation of the medium with very low density lipoproteins, free fatty acids and cholesterol reversed this activation, indicating that the mere lack of lipids is sufficient to activate de novo lipogenesis in cancer cells. Consequently, cancer cells grown in lipid-reduced conditions became more dependent on de novo lipid synthesis pathways and were more sensitive to inhibitors of lipogenic pathways, like Soraphen A and Simvastatin. Collectively, these data indicate that limitation of access to exogenous lipids, as may occur in intact tumors, activates de novo lipogenesis is cancer cells, helps them to thrive under these conditions and makes them more vulnerable to lipogenesis inhibitors. These observations have important implications for the design of new antineoplastic strategies targeting the cancer cell's lipid metabolism.
    PLoS ONE 09/2014; 9(9):e106913. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0106913 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    • "The development of other culture systems are growing up to achieve one that better mimics the in vivo cellular features, very important to improve studies about cancer disease, for example, in the evaluation of drug effects in cancer cells [115]. The three-dimensional culture (3D) is a type of culture that increases cell interactions with other cells and with the ECM, which is closer to in vivo conditions [116,117]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Some cancers like melanoma and pancreatic and ovarian cancers, for example, commonly display resistance to chemotherapy, and this is the major obstacle to a better prognosis of patients. Frequently, literature presents studies in monolayer cell cultures, 3D cell cultures or in vivo studies, but rarely the same work compares results of drug resistance in different models. Several of these works are presented in this review and show that usually cells in 3D culture are more resistant to drugs than monolayer cultured cells due to different mechanisms. Searching for new strategies to sensitize different tumors to chemotherapy, many methods have been studied to understand the mechanisms whereby cancer cells acquire drug resistance. These methods have been strongly advanced along the years and therapies using different drugs have been increasingly proposed to induce cell death in resistant cells of different cancers. Recently, cancer stem cells (CSCs) have been extensively studied because they would be the only cells capable of sustaining tumorigenesis. It is believed that the resistance of CSCs to currently used chemotherapeutics is a major contributing factor in cancer recurrence and later metastasis development. This review aims to appraise the experimental progress in the study of acquired drug resistance of cancer cells in different models as well as to understand the role of CSCs as the major contributing factor in cancer recurrence and metastasis development, describing how CSCs can be identified and isolated.
    Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 04/2014; 33(1):37. DOI:10.1186/1756-9966-33-37 · 4.43 Impact Factor
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