Three-dimensional polarization sensitizes hepatocytes to Fas/CD95 apoptotic signalling

Haouzi, D.; Baghdiguian, S.; Granier, G.; Travo, P.; Mangeat, P.; Hibner, U.

J Cell Sci

2005-06-15 / vol 118 / pages 2763-73


Maintenance of epithelial cell shape and polarity determines many vital cell functions, including the appropriate response to external stimuli. Murine hepatocytes cultured in a three-dimensional Matrigel matrix formed highly polarized organoids characterized by specific localization of an ERM (ezrin/radixin/moesin) protein, radixin, at microvillus-lined membrane domains. These apical domains surrounded a lumen and were bordered by tight junctions. The hepatocyte organoids were functional as judged by the high level of albumin secretion and accumulation of bilirubin. Stimulation of the Fas/CD95 death receptor, which is highly hepatotoxic in vivo, was a strong inducer of apoptosis in the polarized organoids. This was in sharp contrast to the monolayer hepatocyte cultures, which were protected from death by exacerbated NF-kappaB signalling following engagement of the death receptors. Thus, hepatocytes in polarized, functional organoids modulate an intracellular signal transduction pathway, allowing the recapitulation of their physiological response to an apoptotic stimulus.

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Animals; Mice; *Apoptosis; Gene Expression Regulation; Cell Line; *Signal Transduction; Drug Combinations; NF-kappa B/metabolism; *Cell Polarity; Antigens, CD95/*metabolism; Collagen; Hepatocytes/*cytology/*metabolism; Laminin; Organoids/metabolism; Proteoglycans

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