Journal Article Preliminary Evaluation of Three-Dimensional Primary Human Hepatocyte Culture System for Assay of Drug-Metabolizing Enzyme-Inducing Potential

Arakawa, Hiroshi  ,  Kamioka, Hiroki  ,  Jomura, Tomoko  ,  Koyama, Satoshi  ,  Idota, Yoko  ,  Yano, Kentaro  ,  Kojima, Hajime  ,  Ogihara, Takuo

4 ( 7 )  , pp.967 - 974 , 2017-07-01 , The Pharmaceutical Society of Japan = 日本薬学会
Drug-induced liver injury (DILI) is a common reason for withdrawal of candidate drugs from clinical trials, or of approved drugs from the market. DILI may be induced not only by intact parental drugs, but also by metabolites or intermediates, and therefore should be evaluated in the enzyme-induced state. Here, we present a protocol for assay of drug-metabolizing enzyme-inducing potential using three-dimensional (3D) primary cultures of human hepatocytes (hepatocyte spheroids). Hepatocyte spheroids could be used up to 21 d after seeding (pre-culture for 7 d and exposure to inducer for up to 14 d), based on preliminary evaluation of basal activities of CYP subtypes and mRNA expression of the corresponding transcription factor and xenobiotic receptors (aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), constitutive androstane receptor (CAR) and pregnane X receptor (PXR)). After 2 d exposure of hepatocyte spheroids to omeprazole, phenobarbital and rifampicin (typical inducers of CYP1A2, 2B6 and 3A4, respectively), CYP1A2, 2B6 and 3A4 mRNA expression levels were significantly increased. The mRNA induction of CYP2B6 remained reasonably stable between days 2 and 14 of exposure to inducers, while induction of both CYP1A2 and 3A4 continued to increase up to day 14. These enzyme activities were all significantly increased compared with the control until day 14. Our findings indicate that our 3D hepatocyte spheroids system would be especially suitable for long-term testing of enzyme activity induction by drugs, either to predict or to verify clinical events.

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