Hepatocytes of Wistar and Sprague Dawley rats differ significantly in their central metabolism

Richa Garg, Elmar Heinzle, Fozia Noor*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Wistar and Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats are most commonly used experimental rats. They have similar genetic background and are therefore, not discriminated in practical research. In this study, we compared metabolic profiles of Wistar and SD rat hepatocytes from middle (6 months) and old (23 months) age groups. Principle component analysis (PCA) on the specific uptake and production rates of amino acids, glucose, lactate and urea indicated clear differences between Wistar and SD rat hepatocytes. SD rat hepatocytes showed higher uptake rates of various essential and non-essential amino acids, particularly in early culture phases (0-12 h) compared to later phases (12-24 h). SD hepatocytes seem to be more sensitive to isolation procedure and in vitro culture requiring more amino acids for cellular maintenance and repair. Major differences between Wistar and SD rat hepatocytes were observed for glucose and branched chain amino acid metabolism. We conclude that the observed differences in the central carbon metabolism of isolated hepatocytes from these two rats should be considered when using one or the other rat type in studies on metabolic effects or diseases such as diabetes or obesity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)909-917
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cellular Biochemistry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • aging
  • amino acid metabolism
  • glucose metabolism
  • metabolic profiles
  • rat hepatocytes
  • RRID:RGD_737903


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