The Cellular and Molecular Physiology Core is the "work horse" of this Center and is organized to provide technical expertise, equipment and personnel to Liver Center Investigators in order to provide them with state of the art research resources in an efficient, quality controlled and cost effective manner. The Core is divided into 3 components: 1) The Cell Isolation and Organ Perfusion Component which provides: Isolated cell preparations including: hepatocytes, cholangiocytes, endothelial cells, stellate cells, portal fibroblasts and hepatic lymphocytes, primarily from mice and rats for studies of hepatic function and disease. Human hepatocytes are also utilized when available. Equipment and expertise is also available for isolated liver perfusion preparations in rats and mice for studies using the whole perfused organ. 2) The Cell Culture Component provides cell culture facilities for short- and long-term cultures and cell lines. 3) A Molecular component of the Core maintains the latest models of equipment for protein and gene expression using Quantitative real time PCR and Infrared imaging detection and provides technology and expertise for altering gene expression in cells and tissues using siRNA transfection and adenovirus infection . By centralizing these procedures in a Core facility, investigators are assured of a high degree of quality control and cost effectiveness as cell preparations can often be used simultaneously by more than one investigator. Cell isolation, organ perfusion and cell culture facilities are also established at the Center's satellite facility at the Mt. Desert Island Biological Laboratory for use of alterative models in marine species, including the small skate (Raja erinacea), sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus), and Hag fish (Myxine glutinosa). Where appropriate, Core personnel also provide training in the use of various animal models including bile duct ligation, bile collection and partial hepatectmy. In addition, various animal models of liver disease are also maintained in this Core. James L. Boyer, M.D. directs this Core and has more than 4 decades of experience working with these preparations and procedures. He is assisted by ShiYing Cai, Ph.D., Carlo Spirii, Ph.D., and M. Ananthanaryanan, Ph.D. which assures daily supervision to investigators for many of these services.
The ability for Liver Center investigators to have access to a variety of isolated liver cell preparations, cell culture facilities, molecular technologies and animal models greatly facilitates their ability to pursue research into the pathophysiology and treatment of liver diseases.
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