ABSTRACT: The limited availability of human hepatocytes results in the use of animal cells in most bioartificial liver support devices. In the present work, clinically relevant liver specific metabolic activities were compared in rat, pig and human hepatocytes cultured on liver-derived biomatrix to optimize the expression of differentiated functions. Pig hepatocytes showed higher rates of diazepam metabolism (2.549+/-0.821 microg/h/million cells vs. 0.474+/-0.079 microg/h/million cells rats, p<0.005, and vs. 0.704+/-0.171 microg/h/million cells in man, p<0.005) and of bilirubin conjugation (21.60116+/-8.433237 micromoles/l/24 h vs. 6.786809+/-2.983758 in man, p<0.001 and vs. 9.956538+/-1.781016 micromoles/l/24 h in rats, p<0.005). Urea synthesis was similar in pig and in human hepatocytes (150+/-46.3 vs. 144.8+/-21.46 nmoles/h/million cells) and it was lower in rats (84.38+/-35.2; p<0.001 vs. man, p<0.02 vs. pig). High liver specific metabolic activities in cultured pig hepatocytes further support their use as a substitue for human cells in bioartificial liver devices.
The International journal of artificial organs 07/2001; 24(6):392-6. · 1.86 Impact Factor