SK HEP-1: A human cell line of endothelial origin

Sue C. Heffelfinger, Hal H. Hawkins, Jim Barrish, Linda Taylor, Gretchen J. Darlington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

118 Scopus citations


SK-HEP-1 is an immortal, human cell line derived from the ascitic fluid of a patient with adenocarcinoma of the liver. We have determined that these cells are of endothelial origin. Despite the location of the tumor from which SK HEP-1 was derived, the cell line does not have properties of hepatocytes. Northern blot analysis of total cellular RNA shows no messenger RNA for the hepatic-specific proteins albumin, alpha-fibrinogen, or gamma-fibrinogen. Endothelial characteristics are seen by transmission electron microscopy. These features include numerous pinocytotic vesicles, electron dense granules consistent with Weibel-Palade bodies, and abundant intermediate filaments, identified immunocytochemically as vimentin. Cultures grown on plastic dishes grow in bundles of polygonal to spindle-shaped cells. Proteins characteristic for endothelial cells are identified by immunocytochemistry. Addition of basement membrane material (Matrigel) or type I collagen to the cultures induces these cells to organize into a tubular network.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)136-142
Number of pages7
JournalIn Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology - Animal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Matrigel
  • SK HEP-1
  • endothelium
  • tubule

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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