Hybrid cellular spheroids from hepatocellular carcinoma and insulin-secreting cell lines

J. Y. Kim, H. W. Kim, S. J. Bae, D. J. Joo, K. H. Huh, Y. H. Fang, Y. Cho, J. H. Jeong, Y. S. Kim, J. I. Lee

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7 Citations (Scopus)


During islet transplantation into the portal vein of the liver, the islet cells are expected to have complex interactions with hepatocytes. However, the mechanism underlying this interaction is not yet understood. Hence, we developed cellular complexes containing a mixture of human hepatocellular carcinoma cell line (Hep-G2) and rat insulin-secreting cell line (RIN-5F) by using a co-culture model and studied the function and morphology of the resultant hybrid cellular spheroids (HCSs). The RIN-5F and Hep-G2 cells were suspension cultured and, within 5 days of culture, the two types of cells aggregated to yield spheroids. The functionality of the thus formed HCSs was evaluated by measuring the levels of insulin and albumin in the culture supernatant. The HCSs retained their insulin- and albumin-secreting ability and their morphology, as revealed by immunohistological staining. The insulin and albumin levels secreted by the HCSs were considerably higher than those secreted by spheroids of single-cell origin. Generally, obtaining complexes from more than two types of cells is difficult. However, we were able to generate HCSs. We believe that this culture method could have various applications such as studying the in vitro cell-cell interactions and developing new cell transplantation models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1095-1098
Number of pages4
JournalTransplantation Proceedings
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012 May

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Transplantation

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