Bilirubin, a physiological antioxidant, can improve cryopreservation of human hepatocytes

G. Galbiati, M. Muraca, R. R. Mitry, R. D. Hughes, S. C. Lehec, J. Puppi, F. G. Sagias, M. Caruso, G. Mieli-Vergani, A. Dhawan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The availability of cryopreserved hepatocytes is required for a more widespread use of hepatocyte transplantation, but human hepatocytes are easily damaged during freezing-thawing. Here, preincubation with unconjugated bilirubin, a physiological antioxidant, resulted in increased viability and function of hepatocytes (as determined by trypan blue exclusion, mitochondrial succinate dehydrogenases activity, urea synthesis, and cytochrome P450 1A/2) compared with cells incubated without the pigment. These findings suggest that unconjugated bilirubin may be used as cryoprotectant in clinical hepatocyte transplantation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)691-693
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010


  • Bilirubin
  • Freeze-thaw
  • Hepatocyte transplantation
  • Liver metabolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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