The HepaRG cell line: a unique in vitro hepatic cell system

Scope of the method

The Method relates to
  • Human health
The Method is situated in
  • Basic Research
Type of method
  • In vitro - Ex vivo
This method makes use of
  • Human derived cells / tissues / organs
Specify the type of cells/tissues/organs
Terminally differentiated human hepatocellular carcinoma cells


Method keywords
  • cell culture
  • in vitro tool
  • broad application
  • hepatic cell line
  • ready-to-use
Scientific area keywords
  • Liver cell biology
  • Toxicity studies
  • Drug metabolism
  • genotoxicity and carcinogenicity
  • hepatotoxicity screening hepatotoxicity screening
Method description

Cryopreserved differentiated HepaRG cells (obtained from Biopredic International) are derived from a human hepatocellular carcinoma. These cells are an unique in vitro tool that provides reproducible results and exhibit many characteristics of primary human hepatocytes such as morphology, expression of key metabolic enzymes, nuclear receptors and drug transporters. Because of these characteristics they have a very broad application versatility like in vitro ADME, hepatotoxicity screening and mechanistic testing applications (for instance transporters, drug-induced liver injury, genotoxicity and carcinogenicity studies).

Lab equipment
  • Laminar flow hood;
  • Phase contrast microscope;
  • Incubator;
  • Water bath (automatic);
  • Micropipettes;
  • Centrifuge.
Method status
  • History of use

Pros, cons & Future potential


Lack donor variability.

References, associated documents and other information

Associated documents
Toxicogenomics-based prediction of acetaminophen-induced liver injury using human hepatic cell systems.pdf

Contact person

Anja Heymans


Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)
Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences
In Vitro Toxicology and Dermato-Cosmetology
Brussels Region