Drug metabolism and disposition: the biological fate of chemicals

Crypt Organoid Culture as an in Vitro Model in Drug Metabolism and Cytotoxicity Studies.

PMID 28468837


The gastrointestinal tract is enriched with xenobiotic processing proteins that play important roles in xenobiotic bioactivation, metabolism, and detoxification. The application of genetically modified mouse models has been instrumental in characterizing the function of xenobiotic processing genes (XPG) and their proteins in drug metabolism. Here, we report the utilization of three-dimensional crypt organoid cultures from these animal models to study intestinal drug metabolism and toxicity. With the successful culturing of crypt organoids, we profiled the abundance of Phase I and Phase II XPG expression, drug transporter gene expression, and xenobiotic nuclear receptor (XNR) gene expression. Functions of XNRs were examined by treating crypt cells with XNR prototypical agonists. Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction demonstrated that the representative downstream target genes were induced. These findings were validated from cultures developed from XNR-null mice. In crypt cultures isolated from Pxr-/- mice, pregnenolone 16α-carbonitrile failed to induce Cyp3a11 gene expression; similarly, WY14643 failed to induce Cyp4a10 in the Pparα-/- crypts. Crypt cultures from control (Ugt1F/F ) and intestinal epithelial cell (IEC) specific Ugt1 null mice (Ugt1ΔIEC ) were treated with camptothecin-11, an anticancer prodrug with severe intestinal toxicity that originates from insufficient UGT1A1-dependent glucuronidation of its active metabolite SN-38. In the absence of Ugt1 gene expression, Ugt1ΔIEC crypt cultures exhibit very limited production of SN-38 glucuronide, concordant with increased apoptosis in comparison with Ugt1F/F crypt cultures. This study suggests crypt organoid cultures as an effective in vitro model for studying intestinal drug metabolism and toxicity.

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