• 3D cell culture models: Drug pharmacokinetics, safety assessment, and regulatory consideration

      Wang, Hongbing; Brown, Paul C; Chow, Edwin C Y; Ewart, Lorna; Ferguson, Stephen S; Fitzpatrick, Suzanne; Freedman, Benjamin S; Guo, Grace L; Hedrich, William; Heyward, Scott; et al. (Wiley-Blackwell, 2021-05-13)
      Nonclinical testing has served as a foundation for evaluating potential risks and effectiveness of investigational new drugs in humans. However, the current two-dimensional (2D) in vitro cell culture systems cannot accurately depict and simulate the rich environment and complex processes observed in vivo, whereas animal studies present significant drawbacks with inherited species-specific differences and low throughput for increased demands. To improve the nonclinical prediction of drug safety and efficacy, researchers continue to develop novel models to evaluate and promote the use of improved cell- and organ-based assays for more accurate representation of human susceptibility to drug response. Among others, the three-dimensional (3D) cell culture models present physiologically relevant cellular microenvironment and offer great promise for assessing drug disposition and pharmacokinetics (PKs) that influence drug safety and efficacy from an early stage of drug development. Currently, there are numerous different types of 3D culture systems, from simple spheroids to more complicated organoids and organs-on-chips, and from single-cell type static 3D models to cell co-culture 3D models equipped with microfluidic flow control as well as hybrid 3D systems that combine 2D culture with biomedical microelectromechanical systems. This article reviews the current application and challenges of 3D culture systems in drug PKs, safety, and efficacy assessment, and provides a focused discussion and regulatory perspectives on the liver-, intestine-, kidney-, and neuron-based 3D cellular models. © 2021 The Authors.
    • Effects of Overexpression of Fibroblast Growth Factor 15/19 on Hepatic Drug Metabolizing Enzymes.

      Rizzolo, Daniel; Kong, Bo; Piekos, Stephanie; Chen, Liming; Zhong, Xiaobo; Lu, Jie; Shi, Jian; Zhu, Hao-Jie; Yang, Qian; Li, Albert; et al. (American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET), 2021-12-29)
      Fibroblast growth factors 15 (FGF15) and 19 (FGF19) are endocrine growth factors that play an important role in maintaining bile acid homeostasis. FGF15/19-based therapies are currently being tested in clinical trials for the treatment of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis and cholestatic liver diseases. To determine the physiologic impact of long-term elevations of FGF15/19, a transgenic mouse model with overexpression of Fgf15 (Fgf15 Tg) was used in the current study. The RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) analysis revealed elevations of the expression of several genes encoding phase I drug metabolizing enzymes (DMEs), including Cyp2b10 and Cyp3a11, in Fgf15 Tg mice. We found that the induction of several Cyp2b isoforms resulted in increased function of CYP2B in microsomal metabolism and pharmacokinetics studies. Because the CYP2B family is known to be induced by constitutive androstane receptor (CAR), to determine the role of CAR in the observed inductions, we crossed Fgf15 Tg mice with CAR knockout mice and found that CAR played a minor role in the observed alterations in DME expression. Interestingly, we found that the overexpression of Fgf15 in male mice resulted in a phenotypical switch from the male hepatic expression pattern of DMEs to that of female mice. Differences in secretion of growth hormone (GH) between male and female mice are known to drive sexually dimorphic, STAT5b-dependent expression patterns of hepatic genes. We found that male Fgf15 Tg mice presented with many features similar to GH deficiency, including lowered body length and weight, Igf-1 and Igfals expression, and STAT5 signaling. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: The overexpression of Fgf15 in mice causes an alteration in DMEs at the mRNA, protein, and functional levels, which is not entirely due to CAR activation but associated with lower GH signaling.