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Issue 2, 2015
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An expandable donor-free supply of functional hepatocytes for toxicology

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The B-13 cell is a readily expandable rat pancreatic acinar-like cell that differentiates on simple plastic culture substrata into replicatively-senescent hepatocyte-like (B-13/H) cells in response to glucocorticoid exposure. B-13/H cells express a variety of liver-enriched and liver-specific genes, many at levels similar to hepatocytes in vivo. Furthermore, the B-13/H phenotype is maintained for at least several weeks in vitro, in contrast to normal hepatocytes which rapidly de-differentiate under the same simple – or even under more complex – culture conditions. The origin of the B-13 cell line and the current state of knowledge regarding differentiation to B-13/H cells are presented, followed by a review of recent advances in the use of B-13/H cells in a variety of toxicity endpoints. B-13 cells therefore offer Toxicologists a cost-effective and easy to use system to study a range of toxicologically-related questions. Dissecting the mechanism(s) regulating the formation of B-13/H cell may also increase the likelihood of engineering a human equivalent, providing Toxicologists with an expandable donor-free supply of functional rat and human hepatocytes, invaluable additions to the tool kit of in vitro toxicity tests.

Graphical abstract: An expandable donor-free supply of functional hepatocytes for toxicology

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Publication details

The article was received on 24 Nov 2014, accepted on 27 Jan 2015 and first published on 28 Jan 2015

Article type: Review Article
DOI: 10.1039/C4TX00214H
Citation: Toxicol. Res., 2015,4, 203-222
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    An expandable donor-free supply of functional hepatocytes for toxicology

    P. M. E. Probert, S. K. Meyer, F. Alsaeedi, A. A. Axon, E. A. Fairhall, K. Wallace, M. Charles, F. Oakley, P. A. Jowsey, P. G. Blain and M. C. Wright, Toxicol. Res., 2015, 4, 203
    DOI: 10.1039/C4TX00214H

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