Changes in the expression of cell adhesion molecule and albumin genes were investigated in primary cultures of rat hepatocytes with and without poly- N-p -vinylbenzyl-D-lactonamide (PVLA) coating of the dishes. In PVLA-coated cultures, hepatocytes aggregated into spheroids and expressed liver cadherin and albumin mRNAs at higher levels. In uncoated cultures, hepatocytes revealed low levels of cadherin and albumin mRNAs, but higher levels of integrin α-1 mRNA. The changes in mRNA levels of liver cadherin and integrin α-1 coordinated well with those in spheroid and monolayer formation of hepatocytes, respectively. These results suggest that, in the PVLA-coated culture, hepatocytes expressed cadherin at higher levels to promote cell—cell adhesion and further maintain the differentiated function, such as albumin secretion, for prolonged times.