Primary cultures of surgically obtained noncancerous portions of human liver tissues were made. Liver tissues were poorly dissociated with collagenase, but well dissociated with dispase. The yield and viability of cells were improved somewhat when dissociated with collagenase followed by dispase. The mean cell yield was 1.1 X 10(6) cells/g liver. The epithelial-like morphology of the dissociated liver cells was maintained for about one week, but thereafter degenerative alteration of cells was observed. In liver explant culture, an active outgrowth of cells was observed for more than one month. Albumin production in culture fluids from dissociated livers was detectable for about 2 weeks, but later became undetectable, while that from explant culture was detectable for at least one month. These data demonstrate that adult human hepatocytes can be isolated from noncancerous portions of livers with relatively high yield, and that albumin production of the dissociated cells is detectable for several days.