Sandwich-Cultured Hepatocytes as a Tool to Study Drug Disposition and Drug-Induced Liver Injury

Publication: J Pharm Sci
Software: DILIsym®
Division: DILIsym Services


Sandwich-cultured hepatocytes (SCH) are metabolically competent and have proper localization of basolateral and canalicular transporters with functional bile networks. Therefore, this cellular model is a unique tool that can be used to estimate biliary excretion of compounds. SCH have been used widely to assess hepatobiliary disposition of endogenous and exogenous compounds and metabolites. Mechanistic modeling based on SCH data enables estimation of metabolic and transporter-mediated clearances, which can be used to construct physiologically based pharmacokinetic models for prediction of drug disposition and drug-drug interactions in humans. In addition to pharmacokinetic studies, SCH also have been used to study cytotoxicity and perturbation of biological processes by drugs and hepatically generated metabolites. Human SCH can provide mechanistic insights underlying clinical drug-induced liver injury (DILI). In addition, data generated in SCH can be integrated into systems pharmacology models to predict potential DILI in humans. In this review, applications of SCH in studying hepatobiliary drug disposition and bile acid-mediated DILI are discussed. An example is presented to show how data generated in the SCH model were used to establish a quantitative relationship between intracellular bile acids and cytotoxicity, and how this information was incorporated into a systems pharmacology model for DILI prediction.

By Jeffery Woodhead, Paul B Watkins, Scott Q Siler, Brett A Howell