ABSTRACT: We report the development and characterization of a system of primary culture of ovine fetal hepatocytes to aid in the understanding
of the cellular regulation of fetal growth and metabolism with emphasis on amino acid metabolism and insulinlike growth factor
gene expression and to allow comparison to in vivo studies. Hepatocytes were isolated from late gestation fetal lambs by in
situ perfusion and collagenase digestion utilizing occlusion of the ductus venosus to limit intrahepatic shunting. Hepatocytes
were cultured in media modified to mimic fetal concentrations of glucose, lactate, and amino acids. Ovine fetal hepatocytes
in primary culture maintain the pattern of fetal amino acid production and utilization seen across the fetal liver in vivo.
Specifically, there is a net production of serine and a net utilization of glycine. Cultured ovine fetal hepatocytes specifically
increase tritiated thymidine incorporation in response to insulin and insulinlike growth factor II (IGF-II). IGF-II mRNA abundance
is high and IGF-I mRNA is low in cultured ovine fetal hepatocytes as in the fetal sheep liver in vivo. These data demonstrate
the successful isolation of ovine fetal hepatocytes that retain some of the characteristics of the ovine fetal liver while
maintained in short-term culture.
In Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology - Animal 04/1993; 29(7):592-596. · 1.31 Impact Factor