Hepatology International

, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 951–958 | Cite as

Human parenchymal and non-parenchymal liver cell isolation, culture and characterization

  • Georg Damm
  • Elisa Pfeiffer
  • Britta Burkhardt
  • Jan Vermehren
  • Andreas K. NüsslerEmail author
  • Thomas S. Weiss
Review Article


Many reports describing parenchymal liver cell isolation have been published so far. However, recent evidence has clearly demonstrated that non-parenchymal liver cells play an important role in many pathophysiologies of the liver, such as drug-induced liver diseases, inflammation, and the development of liver fibrosis and cirrhosis. In this study, we present an overview of the current methods for isolating and characterizing parenchymal and non-parenchymal liver cells.


Human hepatocytes Liver cell isolation Parenchymal liver cells Non-parenchymal liver cells Liver cell culture 

List of abbreviations


Dulbecco`s modified Eagle’s medium


Ethylenediameinetetraacetic acid


Ethylene glycol tetraacetic acid


Fluorescence-activated cell sorting


Fetal calf serum


Glial fibriallary acidic protein


(2-hydroxyethyl)-1-piperazineethanesulfonic acid


Hepatic stellate cells


Kupffer cells


Low density lipoprotein


Liver sinusoidal endothelial cells


Non-parenchymal cells


Periodic acid-Schiff


Phosphate-buffered saline


Sinusoidal endothelial cells



This study was partially supported by BMBF-0315741 (Virtual Liver, Dr. Georg Damm/Prof. Andreas K. Nüssler), BMBF-0316058A (KIT-Chip, Prof. Andreas K. Nüssler), and BMBF-0315753 (Virtual Liver, Prof. Thomas S. Weiss).

Conflicts of Interest

Georg Damm, Elisa Pfeiffer, Britta Burkhardt, Jan Vermehren, Andreas K. Nüssler and Thomas S. Weiss declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Compliance with Ethical Requirements

In the studies with human subjects carried out by the authors that are mentioned in this review, all procedures met the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2008. Informed consent was obtained from all patients for inclusion in the study. Concerning the studies with animals carried out by the authors that are mentioned in this review, all institutional and national guidelines for the care and use of laboratory animals were followed.


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Copyright information

© Asian Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Georg Damm
    • 1
  • Elisa Pfeiffer
    • 1
  • Britta Burkhardt
    • 2
  • Jan Vermehren
    • 3
  • Andreas K. Nüssler
    • 2
    Email author
  • Thomas S. Weiss
    • 3
  1. 1.Charité University Medicine BerlinDepartment of General, Visceral, and Transplant SurgeryBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Eberhard Karls University Tübingen, BG Trauma CenterSiegfried Weller Institut, BG-Tübingen, Siegfried Weller InstitutTübingenGermany
  3. 3.Department of Pediatrics and Juvenile MedicineUniversity Hospital RegensburgRegensburgGermany

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