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Cellular & Molecular Biology Letters

Open Access

Maintenance of rat hepatocytes under inflammation by coculture with human orbital fat-derived stem cells

Cellular & Molecular Biology LettersAn International Journal201217:4

Received: 9 October 2011

Accepted: 18 January 2012

Published: 27 January 2012


Preservation of hepatocyte functions in vitro will undoubtedly help the management of acute liver failure. The coculture system may be able to prevent functional decline of hepatocytes. It has already been shown that hepatocytes, when cocultured with bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells, could undergo long-term culture in vitro without loss of functions. In this study, human orbital fat-derived stem cells were isolated and cocultured with rat hepatocytes. When treated with serum from an acute liver failure patient, rat hepatocyte monoculture showed reduction of cell viability and loss of liverspecific functions. However, rat hepatocytes in the coculture system were still able to secret albumin and synthesize urea. IL-6 was significantly elevated in the coculture of rat hepatocyte with orbital fat-derived stem cells, and it might be the key immunoregulator which protects rat hepatocytes against inflammation. Our data confirmed that orbital fat-derived stem cells, or other adipose tissue-derived stem cells, are an ideal candidate to support rat hepatocyte functions in vitro.

Key words

Acute liver failureCocultureDifferentiationFat tissueHepatocytesInflammationInterleukin-6Mesenchymal stem cellsOrbital fat-derived stem cellsSerum