Characterization of apical and basolateral plasma membrane domains derived from cultured rat cholangiocytes

Pamela Tietz, Susan Levine, Ralph Holman, Chris Fretham, Nicholas F. Larusso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Cholangiocytes, the epithelial cells that line intrahepatic bile ducts, are composed of plasma membranes with discrete apical (lumenal) and basolateral domains that contain different channels, transporters, and receptors. In recent work, we developed a long-term, primary culture system of normal rat cholangiocytes (NRC). Our aims here were to prepare and characterize apical and basolateral plasma membrane vesicles from NRC. Using serial isopycnic centrifugation on sucrose gradients, we generated separate apical and basolateral plasma membrane vesicles. We characterized these vesicles by transmission electron microscopy, specific marker enzyme assays, and immunoblotting; we also determined the percentage of sealed vesicles and their intravesicular volume and sidedness using biochemical approaches. Our results showed that vesicles derived from the apical and basolateral plasma membrane domains of NRC were highly purified, predominately sealed, right- side-out vesicles that differed in size and lipid and protein composition. This experimental model represents a novel tool that will be useful for additional functional studies on the channels, transporters, and receptors differentially distributed in the plasma membrane of biliary epithelia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)192-199
Number of pages8
JournalAnalytical Biochemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 15 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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