Long-term functional maintenance of primary human hepatocytes in vitro

Chengang Xiang, Yuanyuan Du, Gaofan Meng, Liew Soon Yi, Shicheng Sun, Nan Song, Xiaonan Zhang, Yiwei Xiao, Jie Wang, Zhigang Yi, Yifang Liu, Bingqing Xie, Min Wu, Jun Shu, Da Sun, Jun Jia, Zhen Liang, Dong Sun, Yanxiang Huang, Yan ShiJun Xu, Fengmin Lu, Cheng Li, Kuanhui Xiang, Zhenghong Yuan, Shichun Lu, Hongkui Deng

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

138 Citations (Scopus)


The maintenance of terminally differentiated cells, especially hepatocytes, in vitro has proven challenging. Here we demonstrated the long-term in vitro maintenance of primary human hepatocytes (PHHs) by modulating cell signaling pathways with a combination of five chemicals (5C). 5C-cultured PHHs showed global gene expression profiles and hepatocyte-specific functions resembling those of freshly isolated counterparts. Furthermore, these cells efficiently recapitulated the entire course of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection over 4 weeks with the production of infectious viral particles and formation of HBV covalently closed circular DNA. Our study demonstrates that, with a chemical approach, functional maintenance of PHHs supports long-term HBV infection in vitro, providing an efficient platform for investigating HBV cell biology and antiviral drug screening.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-402
Number of pages4
Issue number6438
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes


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