Supplementary Material for: Isolation and Culture of Single Cell Types from Rat Liver

There have been few reports on the simultaneous isolation of multiple liver cell populations thus far. As such, this study was aimed at establishing a protocol for the simultaneous separation of hepatocytes (HCs), hepatic stellate cells (HSCs), liver sinusoidal endothelial cells (LSECs) and Kupffer cells (KCs) from the rat liver and assessing the in vitro culture of these cells. Single-cell suspensions from the liver were obtained by ethylene glycol tetraacetic acid/collagenase perfusion. After low-speed centrifugal separation of HCs, pronase was added to the nonparenchymal cell fraction to eliminate the remaining HCs. Subsequently, HSCs, LSECs and KCs were purified by two steps of density gradient centrifugation using Nycodenz and Percoll in addition to selective attachment. Pronase treatment increased the HSC yield (1.5 ± 0.2 vs. 0.7 ± 0.3 cells/g liver, p < 0.05) and improved LSEC purity (93.6 ± 3.6 vs. 82.5 ± 5.6%, p < 0.01). The isolated cells could also be cultured in vitro. LSEC apoptosis began on day 3 and reached a maximum on day 7. A few surviving LSECs began proliferating and split to form a cobblestone, sheet-like appearance on day 14. The LSECs on day 14 lost fenestrations but retained scavenger function. Thus, viable and purified liver cells were obtained with a high yield from the rat liver using the developed method, which may be useful for studying the physiology and pathology of the liver in the future.