Serum-free culture of primary human hepatocytes in a miniaturized hollow-fibre membrane bioreactor for pharmacological in vitro studies


Primary human hepatocytes represent an important cell source for in vitro investigation of hepatic drug metabolism and disposition. In this study, a multi-compartment capillary membrane-based bioreactor technology for three-dimensional (3D) perfusion culture was further developed and miniaturized to a volume of less than 0.5 ml to reduce demand for cells. The miniaturized bioreactor was composed of two capillary layers, each made of alternately arranged oxygen and medium capillaries serving as a 3D culture for the cells. Metabolic activity and stability of primary human hepatocytes was studied in this bioreactor in the presence of 2.5% fetal calf serum (FCS) under serum-free conditions over a culture period of 10 days. The miniaturized bioreactor showed functions comparable to previously reported data for larger variants. Glucose and lactate metabolism, urea production, albumin synthesis and release of intracellular enzymes (AST, ALT, GLDH) showed no significant differences between serum-free and serum-supplemented bioreactors. Activities of human-relevant cytochrome P450 (CYP) isoenzymes (CYP1A2, CYP3A4/5, CYP2C9, CYP2D6, CYP2B6) analyzed by determination of product formation rates from selective probe substrates were also comparable in both groups. Gene expression analysis showed moderately higher expression in the majority of CYP enzymes, transport proteins and enzymes of Phase II metabolism in the serum-free bioreactors compared to those maintained with FCS. In conclusion, the miniaturized bioreactor maintained stable function over the investigated period and thus provides a suitable system for pharmacological studies on primary human hepatocytes under defined serum-free conditions. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Projects: C2: Organization of the sinusoidal system and the liver lobule - referen...

J Tissue Eng Regen Med
J Tissue Eng Regen Med :
21st Nov 2012

Marc Lübberstedt, Ursula Müller-Vieira, Klaus M Biemel, Malin Darnell, Stefan A Hoffmann, Fanny Knöspel, Eva C Wönne, Daniel Knobeloch, Andreas K Nüssler, Jörg C Gerlach, Tommy B Andersson, Katrin Zeilinger

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[Marc Lübberstedt] [Stefan Hoffmann] [Daniel Knobeloch] [Andreas Nüssler] [Katrin Zeilinger]

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  • Created: 22nd Nov 2012 at 16:19
  • Last updated: 24th Oct 2013 at 16:15

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