2019 年 42 巻 3 号 p. 348-353
In drug discovery, hepatocytes have been widely utilized as in vitro tools for predicting the in vivo hepatic clearance (CL) of drug candidates. However, conventional hepatocyte models do not always reproduce in vivo physiological function, and CYP activities in particular decrease quite rapidly during culture. Furthermore, conventional in vitro assays have limitations in their ability to predict hepatic CL of metabolically stable drug candidates. In order to accurately predict hepatic CL of candidate drugs, a new method of culturing hepatocytes that activates their functional properties, including CYP activities, is in high demand. In the previous study, we established a novel long-term culture method for PXB-cells® using a collagen vitrigel membrane (CVM) chamber, which can maintain CYP activity and liver specific functions at high levels for several weeks. In this study, the vitrigel culture method was applied to predictions of hepatic CL for 22 CYP typical substrates with low to middle CL, and the prediction accuracy by this method was assessed by comparing CL data between predicted (in vitro intrinsic CL using the dispersion model) and observed (in vivo clinical data) values. The results of this study showed that in vitro CL values for approximately 60% (13/22) and 80% (18/22) of the compounds were predicted within a 2- and 3-fold difference with in vivo CL, respectively. These results suggest that the new culture method using the CVM chamber and PXB-cells is a promising in vitro system for predicting human hepatic CL with high accuracy for CYP substrates, including metabolically stable drug candidates.