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Liver Library

University of Washington and Nortis publish first organ-on-chip study modeling human liver-kidney interactions for preclinical pharmacology and toxicology studies

Posted by Matthew Hayes on

Liver-kidney, 3D organ-on-chip model run on Nortis ParVivo™ system elucidates absorption, distribution and metabolism ex vivo for the first time using human cells  Seattle, WA — November 28, 2017 — Nortis today announced the publication of the first study to show microfludically-linked, 3D organ-on-chip human models for liver and kidney can be used to identify organ-organ interactions in response to known chemical toxicants. The University of Washington used the Nortis ParVivo system in this study that was published in JCI Insights and highlighted as its cover article.  It is often difficult to study toxicological mechanisms in human subjects due to ethical concerns, yet...

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Characterization of rat or human hepatocytes cultured in microphysiological systems (MPS) to identify hepatotoxicity

Posted by Matthew Hayes on

Abstract

The liver is the main site for drug and xenobiotics metabolism, including inactivation or bioactivation. In order to improve the predictability of drug safety and efficacy in clinical development, and to facilitate the evaluation of the potential human health effects from exposure to environmental contaminants, there is a critical need to accurately model human organ systems such as the liver in vitro. We are developing a microphysiological system (MPS) based on a new commercial microfluidic platform (Nortis, Inc.) that can utilize primary liver cells from multiple species (e.g., rat and human). Compared to conventional monolayer cell culture, which typically survives for 5–7 days or less, primary rat or human hepatocytes in an MPS exhibited higher viability and improved hepatic functions, such as albumin production, expression of hepatocyte marker HNF4α and canaliculi structure, for up to 14 days. Additionally, induction of Cytochrome P450 (CYP) 1A and 3A4 in cryopreserved human hepatocytes was observed in the MPS. The acute cytotoxicity of the potent hepatotoxic and hepatocarcinogen, aflatoxin B1, was evaluated in human hepatocytes cultured in an MPS, demonstrating the utility of this model for acute hepatotoxicity assessment. These results indicate that MPS-cultured hepatocytes provide a promising approach for evaluating chemical toxicity in vitro.

Abbreviations

MPS, microphysiological system; LDH, lactate dehydrogenase; ALT, alanine aminotransferase; BNF, beta-naphthoflavone; Rif, rifampin; EROD, ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase; CYPs, cytochrome P450s; HNF4α, hepatocyte nuclear factor 4 alpha; MDZ
midazolam, AFB; aflatoxin B1, BSEP; bile salt export pump, MRP2, multidrug resistance-associated protein 2

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Functional Coupling of Human Microphysiology Systems: Intestine, Liver, Kidney Proximal Tubule, Blood-Brain Barrier and Skeletal Muscle.

Posted by Matthew Hayes on

Abstract

Organ interactions resulting from drug, metabolite or xenobiotic transport between organs are key components of human metabolism that impact therapeutic action and toxic side effects. Preclinical animal testing often fails to predict adverse outcomes arising from sequential, multi-organ metabolism of drugs and xenobiotics. Human microphysiological systems (MPS) can model these interactions and are predicted to dramatically improve the efficiency of the drug development process. In this study, five human MPS models were evaluated for functional coupling, defined as the determination of organ interactions via an in vivo-like sequential, organ-to-organ transfer of media. MPS models representing the major absorption, metabolism and clearance organs (the jejunum, liver and kidney) were evaluated, along with skeletal muscle and neurovascular models. Three compounds were evaluated for organ-specific processing: terfenadine for pharmacokinetics (PK) and toxicity; trimethylamine (TMA) as a potentially toxic microbiome metabolite; and vitamin D3. We show that the organ-specific processing of these compounds was consistent with clinical data, and discovered that trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO) crosses the blood-brain barrier. These studies demonstrate the potential of human MPS for multi-organ toxicity and absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion (ADME), provide guidance for physically coupling MPS, and offer an approach to coupling MPS with distinct media and perfusion requirements.

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Liver and Kidney on Chips: Microphysiological Models to Understand Transporter Function.

Posted by Matthew Hayes on

Abstract

Because of complex cellular microenvironments of both the liver and kidneys, accurate modeling of transport function has remained a challenge, leaving a dire need for models that can faithfully recapitulate both the architecture and cell-cell interactions observed in vivo. The study of hepatic and renal transport function is a fundamental component of understanding the metabolic fate of drugs and xenobiotics; however, there are few in vitro systems conducive for these types of studies. For both the hepatic and renal systems, we provide an overview of the location and function of the most significant phase I/II/III (transporter) of enzymes, and then review current in vitro systems for the suitability of a transporter function study and provide details on microphysiological systems that lead the field in these investigations. Microphysiological modeling of the liver and kidneys using "organ-on-a-chip" technologies is rapidly advancing in transport function assessment and has emerged as a promising method to evaluate drug and xenobiotic metabolism. Future directions for the field are also discussed along with technical challenges encountered in complex multiple-organs-on-chips development.

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A human liver microphysiology platform for investigating physiology, drug safety, and disease models

Posted by Matthew Hayes on

Abstract

This paper describes the development and characterization of a microphysiology platform for drug safety and efficacy in liver models of disease that includes a human, 3D, microfluidic, four-cell, sequentially layered, self-assembly liver model (SQL-SAL); fluorescent protein biosensors for mechanistic readouts; as well as a microphysiology system database (MPS-Db) to manage, analyze, and model data. The goal of our approach is to create the simplest design in terms of cells, matrix materials, and microfluidic device parameters that will support a physiologically relevant liver model that is robust and reproducible for at least 28 days for stand-alone liver studies and microfluidic integration with other organs-on-chips. The current SQL-SAL uses primary human hepatocytes along with human endothelial (EA.hy926), immune (U937) and stellate (LX-2) cells in physiological ratios and is viable for at least 28 days under continuous flow. Approximately, 20% of primary hepatocytes and/or stellate cells contain fluorescent protein biosensors (called sentinel cells) to measure apoptosis, reactive oxygen species (ROS) and/or cell location by high content analysis (HCA). In addition, drugs, drug metabolites, albumin, urea and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) are monitored in the efflux media. Exposure to 180 μM troglitazone or 210 μM nimesulide produced acute toxicity within 2–4 days, whereas 28 μM troglitazone produced a gradual and much delayed toxic response over 21 days, concordant with known mechanisms of toxicity, while 600 µM caffeine had no effect. Immune-mediated toxicity was demonstrated with trovafloxacin with lipopolysaccharide (LPS), but not levofloxacin with LPS. The SQL-SAL exhibited early fibrotic activation in response to 30 nM methotrexate, indicated by increased stellate cell migration, expression of alpha-smooth muscle actin and collagen, type 1, alpha 2. Data collected from the in vitro model can be integrated into a database with access to related chemical, bioactivity, preclinical and clinical information uploaded from external databases for constructing predictive models.

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