Pharmacokinetic Effects of Different Models of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease in Transgenic Humanized OATP1B Mice

Drug Metab Dispos. 2024 Apr 16;52(5):355-367. doi: 10.1124/dmd.123.001607.


Organic anion transporting polypeptide (OATP) 1B1 and OATP1B3 (collectively, OATP1B) transporters encoded by the solute carrier organic anion transporter (SLCO) genes mediate uptake of multiple pharmaceutical compounds. Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), a severe form of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), decreases OATP1B abundance. This research characterized the pathologic and pharmacokinetics effects of three diet- and one chemical-induced NAFLD model in male and female humanized OATP1B mice, which comprises knock-out of rodent Oatp orthologs and insertion of human SLCO1B1 and SLCO1B3. Histopathology scoring demonstrated elevated steatosis and inflammation scores for all NAFLD-treatment groups. Female mice had minor changes in SLCO1B1 expression in two of the four NAFLD treatment groups, and pitavastatin (PIT) area under the concentration-time curve (AUC) increased in female mice in only one of the diet-induced models. OATP1B3 expression decreased in male and female mice in the chemical-induced NAFLD model, with a coinciding increase in PIT AUC, indicating the chemical-induced model may better replicate changes in OATP1B3 expression and OATP substrate disposition observed in NASH patients. This research also tested a reported multifactorial pharmacokinetic interaction between NAFLD and silymarin, an extract from milk thistle seeds with notable OATP-inhibitory effects. Males showed no change in PIT AUC, whereas female PIT AUC increased 1.55-fold from the diet alone and the 1.88-fold from the combination of diet with silymarin, suggesting that female mice are more sensitive to pharmacokinetic changes than male mice. Overall, the humanized OATP1B model should be used with caution for modeling NAFLD and multifactorial pharmacokinetic interactions. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: Advanced stages of NAFLD cause decreased hepatic OATP1B abundance and increase systemic exposure to OATP substrates in human patients. The humanized OATP1B mouse strain may provide a clinically relevant model to recapitulate these observations and predict pharmacokinetic interactions in NAFLD. This research characterized three diet-induced and one drug-induced NAFLD model in a humanized OATP1B mouse model. Additionally, a multifactorial pharmacokinetic interaction was observed between silymarin and NAFLD.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drug Interactions
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Liver-Specific Organic Anion Transporter 1 / metabolism
  • Male
  • Membrane Transport Proteins / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease* / metabolism
  • Organic Anion Transporters* / metabolism
  • Silymarin* / metabolism
  • Solute Carrier Organic Anion Transporter Family Member 1B3 / metabolism


  • Solute Carrier Organic Anion Transporter Family Member 1B3
  • Liver-Specific Organic Anion Transporter 1
  • Organic Anion Transporters
  • Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Silymarin
  • SLCO1B1 protein, human