Induction of metabolism and transport in human intestine: validation of precision-cut slices as a tool to study induction of drug metabolism in human intestine in vitro

Drug Metab Dispos. 2008 Mar;36(3):604-13. doi: 10.1124/dmd.107.018820. Epub 2007 Dec 19.


Induction of drug enzyme activity in the intestine can strongly determine plasma levels of drugs. It is therefore important to predict drug-drug interactions in human intestine in vitro. We evaluated the applicability of human intestinal precision-cut slices for induction studies in vitro. Morphological examination and intracellular ATP levels indicated tissue integrity up to 24 h of incubation, whereas in proximal jejunum slices, the metabolic rate toward most substrates remained at 40 to 50% of initial values. In colon slices, the cytochrome P450 conversions were below the detection limit, but conjugation rates remained relatively constant during incubation. The inducibility of drug-metabolizing enzymes and P-glycoprotein was evaluated using prototypical inducers for five induction pathways. beta-Naphthoflavone (aryl hydrocarbon receptor ligand) induced CYP1A1 (132-fold in colon and 362-fold in proximal jejunum) and UDP glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) 1A6 mRNA (9.8-fold in colon and 3.2-fold in proximal jejunum). In proximal jejunum, rifampicin (RIF) [pregnane X receptor (PXR) ligand] induced CYP3A4 (5.2-fold), CYP2B6 (2-fold), UGT1A6 (2.2-fold), and multidrug resistance-1 (MDR1)/ABCB1 mRNA (2.7-fold), whereas 6beta-hydroxytestosterone formation (CYP3A4) increased 2-fold. In colon, RIF induced UGT1A6 32-fold and MDR1 2.2-fold. Dexamethasone (glucocorticoid receptor and PXR ligand) induced CYP3A4 mRNA (3.5-fold) and activity (5-fold) in proximal jejunum. Phenobarbital (constitutive androstane receptor activator) induced CYP3A4 (4.1-fold, only in jejunum), CYP2B6 (4.9-fold in colon and 2.3-fold in proximal jejunum), and MDR1/ABCB1 mRNA and CYP3A4 activity (2-fold only proximal jejunum). Quercetin (nuclear factor-E2-related factor 2 activator) induced UGT1A6 mRNA (6.7-fold in colon and 2.2-fold in proximal jejunum). In conclusion, this study shows that human intestinal precision-cut slices are useful to study induction of drug-metabolizing enzymes and transporters in the human intestine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism
  • Colon / enzymology
  • Colon / metabolism*
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP1A1 / biosynthesis
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP1A1 / genetics
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP3A / biosynthesis
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP3A / genetics
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Jejunum / enzymology
  • Jejunum / metabolism*
  • Microtomy / methods
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Reproducibility of Results


  • Pharmaceutical Preparations
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Adenosine Triphosphate
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP1A1
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP3A
  • CYP3A4 protein, human