The perfused rat liver is an intact organ model that, compared to cultured hepatocytes, preserves tissue structure, 3D hepatocyte anchoring to the ECM, polarity of the parenchymal cells, liver cell heterogeneity, acinar construction, and gene expression gradients along the acinus (Sies, 1978). The perfused rat liver is a well-established experimental system used to study hepatic signal transduction, gene expression, metabolism, hepatobiliary transport, and detoxification. A detailed description of the experimental setup is presented elsewhere (vom Dahl and Haussinger, 1997). This section briefly outlines methods used for the investigation of integrin-dependent osmosensing in rat liver.
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