Simultaneous Assessment in vitro of Transporter and Metabolic Processes in Hepatic Drug Clearance: Use of a media loss approach

James Harrison, Tom De Bruyn, Adam Darwich, James Houston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hepatocyte drug depletion-time assays are well established for determination of metabolic clearance in vitro. The present study focuses on the refinement and evaluation of a “media loss” assay, an adaptation of the conventional depletion assay involving centrifugation of hepatocytes prior to sampling, allowing estimation of uptake in addition to metabolism. Using experimental procedures consistent with a high throughput, a selection of 12 compounds with a range of uptake and metabolism characteristics (atorvastatin, cerivastatin, clarithromycin, erythromycin, indinavir, pitavastatin, repaglinide, rosuvastatin, saquinavir, and valsartan, with two control compounds—midazolam and tolbutamide) were investigated in the presence and absence of the cytochrome P450 inhibitor 1-aminobenzotriazole and organic anion transporter protein inhibitor rifamycin SV in rat hepatocytes. Data were generated simultaneously for a given drug, and provided, through the use of a mechanistic cell model, clearance terms characterizing metabolism, active and passive uptake, together with intracellular binding and partitioning parameters. Results were largely consistent with the particular drug characteristics, with active uptake, passive diffusion, and metabolic clearances ranging between 0.4 and 777, 3 and 383, and 2 and 236 μl/min per milligram protein, respectively. The same experiments provided total and unbound drug cellular partition coefficients ranging between 3.8 and 254 and 2.3 and 8.3, respectively, and intracellular unbound fractions between 0.014 and 0.263. Following in vitro-in vivo extrapolation, the lowest prediction bias was noted using uptake clearance, compared with metabolic clearance or apparent clearance from the media loss assay alone. This approach allows rapid and comprehensive characterization of hepatocyte drug disposition valuable for prediction of hepatic processes in vivo.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDrug Metabolism and Disposition
Early online date26 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018


Dive into the research topics of 'Simultaneous Assessment in vitro of Transporter and Metabolic Processes in Hepatic Drug Clearance: Use of a media loss approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this