The cells were isolated from a donor afflicted with cholangiocarcinoma, and the novelty of the work performed by INSERM and Biopredic International scientists was to recognize their uniqueness and determine optimum culture conditions to support either growth or function as differentiated, adult hepatic cells.
Read more about HepaRG™ origins.
Thus, we have not interfered with their genome but utilized it advantageously, which may account for the cells’ karyotypic stability over a number of passages, and use of proliferating cells can provide a unique opportunity to confidently analyze signaling pathways and control mechanisms in the HepaRG™.
Our scientists’ excitement grew as they realized that the HepaRG™ carried properties of early hepatic progenitor cells as well as mature hepatocytes, each condition allowing for uses of the cells that are unmatched. For example, HepaRG™ in the growth state tolerate infection by certain viruses which rarely enter differentiated, adult hepatocytes.
The predictability with which the cells can be differentiated, means that we can reliably provide cells with consistent characteristics at lower cost than primary human hepatocytes.
Scientists can utilize HepaRG™ in two forms, cryopreserved, differentiated cells that are convenient to both use and store, and growth-stage cells that can be grown in-house to desired populations and then frozen or differentiated as desired.
Biopredic International has complete User Instructions allowing for maximum quality of the differentiated cells, which require non expensive materials for their use. In fact, they actually reduce expenses compared with cryopreserved primary human hepatocytes.
When using growth-stage cells, a common question is their stability and useful life when they are differentiated, and with HepaRG™, the answers are positive.
They can be grown and split through ten passages when used according to our recommended protocols and medium supplements (the base medium is off-the-shelf WEM). The differentiation process is the same across passages and cells are usable for at least four weeks once differentiation is achieved.
Since the HepaRG™ have not undergone transfection or genome modification, they retain the range of hepatic cell responses, meaning that they have a very broad application versatility. For instance, they have shown the propensity to develop cholestasis or steatosis when exposed to appropriate agents, and they have been likewise used effectively in studies of sugar and lipid metabolism, in-vivo engraftment in rodents, 3D systems, bioartificial livers, chronic toxicity, etc.
To cap it off, Biopredic International maintains a large supply of HepaRG™ progenitor cells to serve as seed stock sufficient to meet the needs of the next decade, even if growth in demand is triple our projections.