Establishing a model of primary bovine hepatocytes with responsive growth hormone receptor expression
The liver becomes resistant to growth hormone before parturition in dairy cows (uncoupling of the somatotropic axis). However, the mechanism of growth hormone insensitivity has not been fully described. The aim of the present study was to improve a previous model of adult bovine hepatocytes in a sandwich culture system to ensure growth hormone receptor (GHR) expression. First, we modified the protocol for hepatocyte retrieval and tested the effect of short (18 min) and long (up to 30 min) warm ischemia on hepatocyte viability. Second, we used medium additives that affect GHR expression in vivo-insulin (INS), dexamethasone (DEX), both (INS+DEX), or no hormone additives (CTRL)-to ensure the functionality of hepatocytes, as measured by lactate dehydrogenase activity and urea concentration in the medium. We also used reverse transcriptase PCR of hepatocytes to evaluate expression of albumin (ALB), hepatocyte nuclear factor 4α (HNF4A), nuclear factor-κ-B-inhibitor α (NFKBIA), cytosolic phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PCK1), and vimentin (VIM) mRNA. Moreover, we analyzed the expression of GHRtot (GHR), GHR1A, insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF1), and IGF binding protein-2 (IGFBP2) in response to exposure to media with the different compositions. Modification of the protocol (changes in rinsing and perfusion times, buffer composition, and the volume and standardization of collagenase) led to increased cell counts and cell viability. Short warm ischemia with the modified protocol significantly increased cell count (4.7 × 107 ± 1.9 × 107 vs. 3.5 × 106 ± 1.5 × 106 vital cells/g of liver) and viability (79.1 ± 8.4 vs. 37.1 ± 8.9%). Therefore, we gathered hepatocytes from the liver after short warm ischemia with the modified protocol. For these hepatocytes, lactate dehydrogenase activity was lower in media with INS and with DEX than in media with INS+DEX or CTRL; urea concentrations were highest at d 4 for INS+DEX. As well, HNF4A and ALB were more highly expressed in hepatocytes cultured with INS and INS+DEX than in those cultured with DEX or CTRL, and the substitution of DEX suppressed VIM and NFKBIA expression but increased PCK1 expression. The expression of GHR, GHR1A, and IGF1 was suppressed by dexamethasone (DEX and INS+DEX), whereas INS distinctly increased GHR, GHR1A, and IGF1 mRNA expression. Hepatocytes in a sandwich culture showed influenceable GHR expression; this study provides a model that can be used in studies examining factors that influence the expression and signal transduction of GHR in dairy cows.