Rat hepatocyte morphology and function on lactose-derivatized polystyrene surfaces

Annie Tang Gutsche, Joanne Zurlo, Elizabeth Deyesu, Kam W. Leong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Hepatocytes isolated from male Fisher 344VF rats were cultured on two substrates, collagen I and a lactose-derivatized polystyrene (PS-lactose), to compare morphological and functional differences. Hepatocyte morphology changed dramatically depending upon the substrate, shown through actin cytoskeletal staining and scanning electron microscopy. Functional assays performed included albumin secretion, reduced glutathione content, UDP- glucuronosyl transferase, and cytochrome P4501A1 activity. The presence of dexamethasone and dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) in the media was required for the maintenance of several differentiated functions for cells cultured on collagen. In general, cells cultured on the PS-lactose substrate showed a much slower loss of function over the same period of time. The maintenance of differentiated function of cells on PS-lactose was enhanced with the addition of dexamethasone and DMSO. This is the first report of a culture system in which hepatocytes, cultured on a polymer substrate without additional protein coatings or media additives, have been able to maintain differentiated functions for up to 1 week.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-265
Number of pages7
JournalBiotechnology and bioengineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 5 1996


  • hepatocytes
  • lactose-derivatized polystyrene
  • polystyrene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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