Taurocholate production by fetal hepatic organ cultures was measured by radioimmunoassay. Taurocholate production was maximal on day 1 of in vitro incubation, but was demonstrable in organ cultures maintained for periods up to 15 days. Explants obtained from fetuses of 18 gestational days of age produced only 82 pmol taurocholate per milligram dry weight of tissue during the first 24 h of incubation. Explants obtained from fetuses 21 gestational days of age produced 1,043 pmol taurocholate per milligram dry weight. The presence of cortisol (2.0 X 10(-6) M) in the incubation medium increased synthesis of taurocholate by rat fetal liver in which total taurocholate rose 50-fold above control after 120 h of incubation. In increasing concentrations from 2.0 X 10(-9) M to 2.0 X 10(-7) M, cortisol produced an incremental rise in taurocholate. However, additional increases in cortisol dose failed to provide further stimulation, and taurocholate production was inhibited by cortisol concentrations of 2.0 X 10(-5) M. The results provide further validation for the technique of fetal hepatic organ culture. They demonstrate that taurocholate synthesis is increasing rapidly during the final stages of gestation and show that cortisol augments taurocholate synthesis in a dose-response pattern.
- Copyright © 1979 by American Physiological Society