Division of Biology and Medicine
Center for Alternatives to Animals in Testing

Fish Liver

Researchers are using 3D microtissues to study the effects of pollutants and engineered nanomaterials on the liver.

Fish Liver 3D Microtissues

  • The Kane lab, in collaboration with the Hurt lab, has developed a 3D microtissue of fish liver. The microtissue is comprised of PLHC-1 liver cells from the fish, Poeciliopsis lucida.
  • Over the course of three days, these cells self-assembled and aggregated into a compact homogenous microtissue wherein the cells adopted a cuboidal shape in contrast to their flattened appearance when grown as two-dimensional monolayers.
  • Like normal liver, the fish liver microtissues accumulated intracellular glycogen granules and expressed the xenobiotic metabolizing enzyme cytochrome P450 1A (Cyp1a).
  • When exposed to low doses and repeated doses of the model environmental toxicant benzo(a)pyrene, the fish liver microtissues underwent significant morphological changes and altered expression of CYP1a.
  • We are using fish liver microtissues as an aquatic toxicity testing platform to investigate the effects of pollutants such as the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons found in petroleum as well as the use of new nanomaterials that are being engineered as alternatives to chemical-based dispersants used to remediate marine oil spills.

Learn More

Rodd, A. L., Messier, N. J., Vaslet, C. A., & Kane, A. B. (2017). A 3D fish liver model for aquatic toxicology: Morphological changes and Cyp1a induction in PLHC-1 microtissues after repeated benzo (a) pyrene exposures. Aquatic Toxicology, 186, 134-144. PMC5436724

Rodd, A. L., Castilho, C. J., Chaparro, C. E., Rangel-Mendez, J. R., Hurt, R. H., & Kane, A. B. (2018). Impact of emerging, high-production-volume graphene-based materials on the bioavailability of benzo(a)pyrene to brine shrimp and fish liver cells. Environmental Science: Nano, 5(9), 2144-2161. PMC6764784

Kabadi, P. K., Vantangoli, M. M., Rodd, A. L., Leary, E., Madnick, S. J., Morgan, J. R., Kane, A., & Boekelheide, K. (2015). Into the depths: Techniques for in vitro three-dimensional microtissue visualization. Biotechniques, 59(5), 279-86. PMC4804457