Enhanced Hepatic Functions of Genetically Modified Mouse Hepatoma Cells by Spheroid Culture for Drug Toxicity Screening

Joyita Sarkar, Jyoti Kumari, Jane M. Tonello, Masamichi Kamihira, Ashok Kumar

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16 Citations (Scopus)


While hepatic cell lines are mainly used for in vitro drug induced toxicity studies, they exhibit limited functionalities. To overcome this, the authors have employed genetically engineered mouse hepatoma cells, Hepa/8F5, wherein expression of liver enriched transcription factors is induced by doxycycline leading to increased functionality. Further enhancement in functionality is achieved by spheroid culture in a previously developed 3D cell culture platform. Cells are seeded in presence of temperature-responsive poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) on poly(N-isopropylacrylamide­-co-gelatin) cryogel scaffold based high throughput platform. Cells seeded in presence of poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) and induced with doxycycline exhibited highest functionalities. There is an increase of ≈26, 36, and 39% in albumin secretion, ammonia removal, and CYP3A4 activity, respectively. Morphological analysis showed arrest in cell proliferation and enlarged nucleus in presence of doxycyline and spheroid formation in presence of poly(N-isopropylacrylamide). Drug induced liver toxicity studies revealed that cells induced with doxycycline are resistive to tamoxifen but sensitive to acetaminophen whereas, cultures initiated in presence of poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) are resistive to both the drugs which is indicative of diffusional barrier of the spheroids. The authors conclude that Hepa/8F5 cells show enhanced functionality in cryogel based spheroid culture platform which can be successfully used for high throughput screening of hepatic toxicity in vitro.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1700274
JournalBiotechnology Journal
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Molecular Medicine


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