Abstract. Adult rat hepatocytes were maintained in culture for at least 1 month without losing the expression of their differentiated functions; they were cultured on lethally treated 3T3 fibroblasts inoculated at 35000 cells/cm2 with medium containing 10–25 μg/ml hydrocortisone. Hepatocytes showed their typical morphology; they formed bile canaliculi, microvilli, and intercellular junctions with desmosomes and nexus; some formed structures that may resemble the perisinusoidal space of Disse. In addition, they showed DNA synthesis and expressed some liver-specific functions. They synthesized albumin and other proteins, which were exported to the culture medium. Like parenchymal liver cells in vivo, de novo fatty acid synthesis and esterification took place, and more than 80% of the lipids synthesized by the hepatocytes were secreted into the medium as triglycerides; they also showed cytochrome-P450 activity that was inducible with phenobarbital, suggesting that the hepatocytes have the capacity to metabolize drugs. These culture conditions allow the study of various hepatocyte differentiated functions, and they may provide the means to analyze the effect on liver of hormones, viruses and hepatotoxic chemicals and drugs; they may also indicate conditions adequate for serial growth of hepatocytes.