Some aspects of the chemical and cellular composition of adult rat liver

P T IYPE1, 2, P M BHARGAVA1, 2 & A D TASKER1, 2

1Regional Research Laboratory, Hyderabad-9, India
2Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi, India

Published in: Experimental Cell Research, 1965, 40, 233-251.

Highlights:

1. Jacob and Bhargava’s method of preparing rat hepatic cell suspensions gives a recovery of 84–93 per cent (mean 89 ± 0.8 per cent) of the hepatic parenchymal cells present initially in adult rat liver.

2. The liver of 3–14-month-old rats contains 196–469 × 106 (mean 320 ± 6 × 106) hepatic cells per g dry weight of liver, or 52–135 × 106 (mean 81 ± 28 × 106) hepatic cells per g wet weight of liver, while the number of non-hepatic cells is 319–738 × 106 (mean 450 ± 41 × 106) per g dry weight of liver, or 75–197 × 106 (mean 114 ± 36 × 106) per g wet weight of liver. The hepatic cells represent 29–55 per cent (mean 40.1 ± 2.7 per cent) and the non-hepatic cells 45–71 per cent (59.9 ± 2.7 per cent) of the total cell population of liver. The number of hepatic cells per g dry weight of liver decreases with increase in dry weight of liver; no significant correlation was found between the dry weight of liver and the number of non-hepatic cells per g dry weight of liver.

3. The number of hepatic and non-hepatic cells in the whole liver is 310–863 × 106 (mean 514 ± 117 × 106) and 478–1080 × 106 (mean 751 ± 62 × 106), respectively.

4. The total number of cells in liver is 546–1040 × 106 (mean 778 ± 149 × 106) per g dry weight of liver, or 126–277 × 106 (mean 197 ± 42 × 106) per g wet weight of liver, or 1030–1790 × 106 (mean 1250 ± 247 × 106) per liver.

5. The dry weight of hepatic cells varies from 0.75–2.42 mg (mean 1.30 ± 0.12 mg) per 106 cells.

6. On an average, the hepatic cells appear to be responsible for a little less than half, the non-hepatic cells for less than 5 per cent, and the noncellular material for about half the dry weight of liver. The percentage of non-cellular material in liver (on dry weight basis) increases with an increase in the dry weight of liver and a decrease in the number of hepatic cells per unit weight of liver.

7. The livers of 3–9-month-old animals contain 12–21 per cent binucleated hepatic cells and less than 1 per cent tri- and tetra-nucleated hepatic cells. The number of binucleated cells increases with age.

8. The volume of a hepatic cell usually varies between 5100 and 20,100 cμ; only a small fraction of the hepatic cells of liver have a volume which is outside this range. The average volume of hepatic cells from any animal varies between 8630–12,300 cμ (mean 10,600 ± 1480 cμ) and increases with increase in the dry weight of liver.

9. Liver contains 0.57–0.87 per cent (mean 0.73 ± 0.03 per cent) DNA per g dry weight of liver, or 0.13–0.23 per cent (mean 0.18 ± 0.04 per cent) DNA per g wet weight of liver, or 9–18 mg (mean 12.2 ± 0.8 mg) DNA per liver.

10. The hepatic cells in liver contain a little more than half (43–76 per cent; mean 58.6 ± 2.8 per cent), and the other cells a little less than half (25–57 per cent; mean 41.4 ± 2.8 per cent) of the total DNA of liver.

11. The DNA content of average hepatic cell varies between 12.1 and 19.7 × 10−12 g, and of an average hepatic cell nucleus between 11.6 and 15.2 × 10−12 g.

12. The results are discussed vis-a-vis earlier observations in respect of the above-mentioned parameters of liver.

Abstract:

We recently described a method [25] for the preparation of rat hepatic cell suspensions which gives an almost quantitative recovery of the hepatic cells in the final suspension; the method takes only 15 min for the preparation of cell suspensions which consist predominantly of single cells and which are virtually free of cell debris and cells other than the hepatic cells present in liver. Further, this method does not involve any enzymatic or drastic physical treatment of the tissue, so that it minimises the loss of intracellular constituents or of cell integrity. Since this method seemed to give a good separation of the hepatic cells from the other cellular and non-cellular material in liver, we felt that it could be used for obtaining useful information on certain aspects of the chemical and cellular composition of liver. In this paper we report the results of estimation of (a) the number of hepatic (parenchymal) and non-hepatic i.e., other than the parenchymal) cells [34 ] contained in a unit weight of liver or in the whole liver of 3- 14 months old rats; (b) the average dry weight of hepatic cells; (c) the percentage of dry weight of liver represented by hepatic cells, non-hep a tic cells or non-cellular material; ( d) the DNA content of hepatic cells; ( e) the percentage of DNA of liver contained in hepatic cells or non-hepatic cells; (f) the extent of occurrence of polynucleated hepatic cells in liver; and (g) the volume of hepatic cells. The variation of the above parameters with increasing dry weight of liver has also been studied; it has been shown that as the weight of liver increases, the number of hepatic cells per unit weight of liver falls, while the percentage of non-cellular material increases. No definitive information is available on most of the above parameter s of liver; the difficulties in the measurement of these values by conventional methods have been pointed out in an earlier, preliminary publication [22].

PMID: 5855284

Keywords:
Aging, Chemical Phenomena, Chemistry, DNA, Female, In Vitro Techniques, Liver/cytology

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Some aspects of the chemical and cellular composition of adult rat liver. P T IYPE, P M BHARGAVA & A D TASKER. Experimental Cell Research, 1965, 40, 233-251.

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