Kidney toxicity due to drugs and chemicals poses a significant health burden for patients and a financial risk for pharmaceutical companies. However, currently no sensitive and high-throughput in vitro method exists for predictive nephrotoxicity assessment. Primary human proximal tubular epithelial cells (HPTECs) possess characteristics of differentiated epithelial cells, making them a desirable model to use in in vitro screening systems. Additionally, heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1) protein expression is upregulated as a protective mechanism during kidney toxicant-induced oxidative stress or inflammation in HPTECs and can therefore be used as a biomarker for nephrotoxicity. In this article, we describe two different methods to screen for HO-1 increase: A homogeneous time resolved fluorescence (HTRF) assay and an immunofluorescence assay. The latter provides lower throughput but higher sensitivity due to the combination of two readouts, HO-1 intensity and cell number. The methods described in the protocol are amendable for other cell types as well. © 2016 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Keywords: HTRF; biomarker; heme oxygenase 1; high-throughput; in vitro; primary human proximal tubular epithelial cells; screening.
Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.