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Eur J Pharm Sci. 2011 Oct 9;44(3):427-36. doi: 10.1016/j.ejps.2011.09.001. Epub 2011 Sep 8.

Time-course activities of Oct1, Mrp3, and cytochrome P450s in cultures of cryopreserved rat hepatocytes.

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Department of Pharmaceutics and Analytical Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Copenhagen University, Universitetsparken 2, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark.


The organic cation transporter 1 (Oct1) has been shown to be one of the most abundant uptake transporters responsible for the uptake of xenobiotics from the sinusoidal blood across the basolateral membrane of hepatocytes. On the same membrane the multidrug resistance-associated protein 3 (Mrp3) mediates the efflux of xenobiotics or their metabolites from the hepatocytes to the blood allowing their systemic exposure. In the present study we investigated the expression and activity of Oct1 and Mrp3 in suspensions and in monolayer- and sandwich cultures, and activities of CYP2B1/2, 2D1, and 3A1 in monolayer- and sandwich cultures of cryopreserved rat hepatocytes. Oct1-mediated active uptake of 10 μM [(3)H]-1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+) into hepatocytes was assessed in the presence of quinidine (1 mM). The results showed the presence of active uptake of MPP+ in suspended hepatocytes (~91 pmol/min/mg protein). In hepatocytes in cultures (monolayer and sandwich) a time-dependent decrease in MPP+ uptake was observed from day 0 to 4, from 80 to 90 pmol/min/mg protein at day 0 to ca. 17 pmol/min/mg protein at day 4. Mrp3 activity in suspensions and in monolayer- and sandwich cultures were investigated by measuring the efflux of [(3)H]-taurocholate from hepatocytes in the presence of the Mrp3 inhibitor taurolithocholate-3-sulfate (TLC-S) (500μM). Cells in suspensions showed efflux of taurocholate by an active transport mechanism indicating Mrp3 activity. Experiments in monolayer- and sandwich cultures also showed Mrp3 activity at day 0 and 1 in culture whereas experiments performed at day 2-4 showed no difference in efflux of taurocholate in the presence or absence of TLC-S, suggesting an absence of Mrp3 activity. The time-dependent decrease in Oct1 activity from day 0 to day 4 in cultures was confirmed by qPCR data also showing a time-dependent decrease in mRNA expression, whereas qPCR data did not support the observed time-dependent decrease in Mrp3 activity in cultures. Time-course activities of CYP2B1/2, 2D1, and 3A1 were also investigated by using bupropion, bufuralol, and midazolam as respective substrates. Activities of CYP2D1 and 3A1 were reduced by ~75% and ~80%, respectively, from day 0 to day 4 in cultures, whereas activity of CYP2B1/2 was reduced by ~50% from day 0 to day 4.

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