Author(s): Vinken M, Decrock E, De Vuyst E, Leybaert L, Vanhaecke T,
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Abstract This study was set up to critically evaluate a commonly-used in vitro model of hepatocellular apoptotic cell death, in which freshly isolated hepatocytes, cultured in a monolayer configuration, are exposed to a combination of Fas ligand and cycloheximide for six hours. A set of well-acknowledged cell death markers was addressed: a) cell morphology was studied by light microscopy; b) apoptotic and necrotic cell populations were quantified by in situ staining with Annexin-V, Hoechst 33342 and propidium iodide (PI); c) apoptotic and necrotic activities were monitored by probing caspase 3-like activity and measuring the extracellular leakage of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), respectively; and d) the expression of apoptosis regulators was investigated by immunoblotting. The initiation of apoptosis was evidenced by the activation of caspase 8 and caspase 9, and increased Annexin-V reactivity. Progression through the apoptotic process was confirmed by the activation of caspase 3 and Bid, the enhanced expression of Bax, and the occurrence of nuclear fragmentation. Late transition to a necrotic appearance was demonstrated by an increased number of PI-positive cells and augmented extracellular release of LDH. Thus, the in vitro model allows the study of the entire course of Fas-mediated hepatocellular apoptotic cell death, which is not possible in vivo. This experimental system can serve a broad range of in vitro pharmaco-toxicological purposes, thereby directly assisting in the reduction of animal experimentation. 2009 FRAME.
This article was published in Altern Lab Anim
and referenced in Pharmaceutica Analytica Acta