Ultrastructure of cultured hepatocytes from fat- and cholesterol-fed rats

  • R. L. Moses
  • Joseph B. Delcarpio
  • Monica Malone McNeal
  • Roger A. Davis


Hepatocytes were enzymatically dissociated from the livers of rats maintained for eight weeks on diets of (1) standard rat chow, (2) chow plus 20% olive oil, and (3) chow plus 20% olive oil and 2% cholesterol. Cells were cultured for up to one week and characterized by phase contrast light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. Cultured hepatocytes derived from the cholesterol-fed rats (3) were distinguishable by phase contrast light microscopy from those derived from chow-or chow plus olive oil-fed (1 and 2) cells, since they contained numerous refractile cytoplasmic structures. Transmission electron microscopy demonstrated that these structures were lipid droplets. Hepatocytes were observed to accumulate non-membrane bound cytoplasmic lipid droplets in the order control-fed <olive oil-fed <cholesterol-fed. In addition to varying quantitatively among the feeding groups, lipid droplets also varied in size and osmiophilia as a function of the feeding regimen. Other than the differential accumulation of lipid droplets, the ultrastructure of the cultured hepatocytes was similar among cells derived from the various feeding groups.

Key words

Hepatocyte Tissue culture Electron microscopy Fatty liver Lipid 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. L. Moses
    • 1
  • Joseph B. Delcarpio
    • 1
  • Monica Malone McNeal
    • 2
  • Roger A. Davis
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of AnatomyDepartment of Physiology Louisiana State University Medical CenterNew OrleansUSA
  2. 2.Cell Biology UnitDepartment of Physiology Louisiana State University Medical CenterNew OrleansUSA

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