Human fetal hepatocytes respond to inflammatory mediators and excrete bile

Authors

  • Joachim Bauer M.D.,

    Corresponding author
    1. Medizinische Universitätsklinik, Freiburg University Medical School, D-7800 Freiburg, Federal Republic of Germany
    2. Department of Biochemistry and Neoplastic Diseases, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, New York 10029
    • Freiburg University Medical School, Psychiatrische Universitätsklinik, Hauptstrasse 5, D-7800 Freiburg, FRG/RFA
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  • Gabriella Lengyel,

    1. Medical Faculty of the Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary
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  • Swan N. Thung,

    1. Department of Pathology, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, New York 10029
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  • Uwe Jonas,

    1. Medizinische Universitätsklinik, Freiburg University Medical School, D-7800 Freiburg, Federal Republic of Germany
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  • Wolfgang Gerok,

    1. Medizinische Universitätsklinik, Freiburg University Medical School, D-7800 Freiburg, Federal Republic of Germany
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  • George Acs

    1. Department of Biochemistry and Neoplastic Diseases, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, New York 10029
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Abstract

Under strict observation of the ethical guidelines of the 1975 Declaration of Helsinki Human Research Committee, primary hepatocyte cultures were prepared from second-trimester fetal liver specimens. We have shown for the first time that fetal hepatocytes have the capacity to produce an acutephase response on treatment with inflammatory mediators. Addition of interleukin-6 to the cultures resulted in strong induction of C-reactive protein and α-1-antichymotrypsin expression, whereas albumin expression was repressed. In contrast to interleukin-6, transforming growth factor-β did not induce C-reactive protein expression. However, as in adult hepatocytes, fetal cells responded to transforming growth factor-β by reduced albumin synthesis. We were able to show by virtue of fluorescein excretion into sealed clefts that fetal hepatocytes have the functional capacity to form bile. Our findings indicate that second-trimester hepatocytes can be regarded as fairly mature liver cells. (HEPATOLOGY 1991;13:1131–1141.)

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