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Human Liver Microphysiological System for Assessing Drug-Induced Liver Toxicity In Vitro
Filed under: DILI and Safety toxicology
Novac et al., 2022
DILI is a major cause of attrition in drug development with over 1000 FDA-approved drugs known to potentially cause DILI in humans. Unfortunately, DILI is often not detected until drugs have reached clinical stages, risking patients’ safety and leading to substantial losses for the pharma industry. Taking into account that standard 2D models have limitations in detecting DILI it is essential to develop in vitro models that are more predictive to improve data translatability. To understand causality and mechanistic aspects of DILI in detail, a human liver MPS consisting of human primary liver parenchymal and non-parenchymal cells (NPCs) and cultured in 3D microtissues on an engineered scaffold under perfusion has been developed. Cryopreserved primary human hepatocytes (PHHs) and Kupffer cells (HKCs) were cocultured as microtissues in the MPS platform for up to two weeks, and each compound of interest was repeatably dosed onto liver microtissues at seven test concentrations for up to four days. Functional liver-specific endpoints were analyzed (including clinical biomarkers such as alanine aminotransferase, ALT) to evaluate liver function. Acute and chronic exposure to compounds of various DILI severities can be assessed by comparing responses to single and multi-dosed microtissues. The methodology has been validated with a broad set of severe and mildly hepatotoxic compounds. Here we show the data for pioglitazone and troglitazone, well-known hepatotoxic compounds withdrawn from the market for causing liver failures. Overall, it has been shown that the liver MPS model can be a useful tool to assess DILI and its association with changes in hepatic function. The model can additionally be used to assess how novel compounds behave in distinct patient subsets and how toxicity profiles may be affected by liver disease states (e.g., viral hepatitis, fatty liver disease).