Expression and inducibility of cytochrome P450s (CYP1A1, 2B6, 2E1, 3A4) in human cord blood CD34(+) stem cell-derived differentiating neuronal cells

Toxicol Sci. 2012 Oct;129(2):392-410. doi: 10.1093/toxsci/kfs213. Epub 2012 Jun 25.


The status of xenobiotic metabolism in developing human brain cells is not known. The reason is nonavailability of developing human fetal brain. We investigate the applicability of the plasticity potential of human umbilical cord blood stem cells for the purpose. Characterized hematopoietic stem cells are converted into neuronal subtypes in eight days. The expression and substrate-specific catalytic activity of the cytochrome P450s (CYPs) CYP1A1 and 3A4 increased gradually till day 8 of differentiation, whereas CYP2B6 and CYP2E1 showed highest expression and activity at day 4. There was no significant increase in the expression of CYP regulators, namely, aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR), constitutive androstane receptor (CAR), pregnane X receptor (PXR), and glutathione-S-transferase (GSTP1-1) during differentiation. Differentiating cells showed significant induction in the expression of CYP1A1, 2B6, 2E1, 3A4, AHR, CAR, PXR, and GSTP1-1 when exposed to rifampin, a known universal inducer of CYPs. The xenobiotic-metabolizing capabilities of these differentiating cells were confirmed by exposing them to the organophosphate pesticide monocrotophos (MCP), a known developmental neurotoxicant, in the presence and absence of a universal inhibitor of CYPs-cimetidine. Early-differentiating cells (day 2) were found to be more vulnerable to xenobiotics than mature well-differentiated cells. For the first time, we report significant expression and catalytic activity of selected CYPs in human cord blood hematopoietic stem cell-derived neuronal cells at various stages of maturity. We also confirm significant induction in the expression and catalytic activity of selected CYPs in human cord blood stem cell-derived differentiating neuronal cells exposed to known CYP inducers and MCP.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, CD34 / immunology*
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Differentiation*
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / biosynthesis
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / metabolism*
  • DNA Primers
  • Enzyme Induction
  • Fetal Blood / cytology*
  • Fetal Blood / enzymology
  • Humans
  • Neurons / cytology*
  • Neurons / enzymology
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Stem Cells / enzymology*
  • Stem Cells / immunology


  • Antigens, CD34
  • DNA Primers
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System