Establishment of sandwich cultures of primary human hepatocytes

Scope of the method

Alternative method relates to
  • Human health
Alternative method is situated in
  • Basic Research
Type of alternative method
  • In vitro - Ex vivo
This method makes use of
  • Human derived cells / tissues / organs
Specify the type of cells/tissues/organs
Primary human hepatocytes

Description

Method keywords
  • Sandwich cultures of hepatocytes
Scientific area keywords
  • Drug-induced cholestasis
Method description

This method describes a well-known optimised human in vitro model of drug-induced cholestasis. Cryopreserved primary human hepatocytes are cultured between two layers of extracellular matrix scaffold, which will delay dedifferentiation and allows to restore cell-extracellular matrix interactions. The sandwich culture method can be applied to both single cell culture dishes and multi-well plates, thus providing an opportune model for high-throughput screening.

Method status
  • Still in development

Pros, cons & Future potential

Advantages
  • Suitable for long-term exposure
  • Restored cell polarity
  • Presence of cell-ECM interactions
  • Formation of functional bile canalicular network
  • Maintain functional expression levels of transport proteins and xenobiotic metabolization enzymes
  • Applicable for quantifying and detecting cholestatic liabilities
Challenges
  • Mass transfer barrier
  • Difficult to culture in 96-well plates
  • Require daily medium renewal due to accumulating toxic metabolites
  • Hypoxic environment
Modifications

The model is already modified by introducing a renewal of the collagen layer every 3-4 days. As a result, the model shows and extended cultivation regime up to 14 days (Parmentier et al. 2013).

Future & Other applications

The model could be used to assess the overall hepatotoxic potential of drugs, cosmetics, biocides or food additives.

References, associated documents and other information

References

Gijbels E., Vilas-Boas V., Deferm N. et al. (2019) Mechanisms and in vitro models of drug-induced cholestasis. Archives of Toxicology (submitted) 

Gijbels E., Vanhaecke T., Vinken M. (2019) Establishment of sandwich cultures of primary human hepatocytes. Methods in Molecular Biology - Protocols in Experimental Cholestasis Research (accepted)

Other references you can find in attached document

Associated documents
Manuscript.docx

Contact person

Eva Gijbels

Organisations

Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences (FARM)
Belgium