In vitro evaluation of cytochrome P450 and glucuronidation activities in hepatocytes isolated from liver-humanized mice

Drug Metab Pharmacokinet. 2010;25(6):539-50. doi: 10.2133/dmpk.dmpk-10-rg-047. Epub 2010 Oct 1.


Cryopreserved human (h-) hepatocytes are currently regarded as the best in vitro model for predicting human intrinsic clearance of xenobiotics. Although fresh h-hepatocytes have greater plating efficiency on dishes and greater metabolic activities than cryopreserved cells, performing reproducible studies using fresh hepatocytes from the same donor and having an "on demand" supply of fresh hepatocytes are not possible. In this study, cryopreserved h-hepatocytes were transplanted into albumin enhancer/promoter-driven, urokinase-type plasminogen activator, transgenic/severe combined immunodeficient (uPA/SCID) mice to produce chimeric mice, the livers of which were largely replaced with h-hepatocytes. We determined whether the chimeric mouse could serve as a novel source of fresh h-hepatocytes for in vitro studies. h-Hepatocytes were isolated from chimeric mice (chimeric hepatocytes), and cytochrome P450 (P450) activities were determined. Compared with cryopreserved cells, the P450 (1A2, 2C9, 2C19, 2D6, 2E1, 3A) activities of fresh chimeric hepatocytes were similar or greater. Moreover, ketoprofen was more actively metabolized through glucuronide conjugates by fresh chimeric hepatocytes than by cryopreserved cells. We conclude that chimeric mice may be a useful tool for supplying fresh h-hepatocytes on demand that provide high and stable phase I enzyme and glucuronidation activities.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Aryl Hydrocarbon Hydroxylases / metabolism
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cryopreservation
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2A6
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Glucuronides / metabolism*
  • Glucuronosyltransferase / metabolism
  • Hepatocytes / enzymology*
  • Humans
  • Ketoprofen / metabolism*
  • Liver / cytology
  • Liver / enzymology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, SCID
  • Middle Aged
  • Transplantation Chimera / metabolism*


  • Glucuronides
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System
  • Ketoprofen
  • Aryl Hydrocarbon Hydroxylases
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2A6
  • Glucuronosyltransferase