Evaluating the in vitro inhibition of UGT1A1, OATP1B1, OATP1B3, MRP2, and BSEP in predicting drug-induced hyperbilirubinemia

Jae H Chang, Emile Plise, Jonathan Cheong, Quynh Ho, Molly Lin
Molecular Pharmaceutics 2013 August 5, 10 (8): 3067-75
Hyperbilirubinemia may arise due to inadequate clearance of bilirubin from the body. Bilirubin elimination is a multifaceted process consisting of uptake of bilirubin into the hepatocytes facilitated by OATP1B1 and OATP1B3. Once in the hepatocytes, it is extensively glucuronidated by UGT1A1. Eventually, the glucuronide metabolite is excreted into the bile via MRP2. UGT1A1 inhibition has been previously shown to be linked with hyperbilirubinemia. However, because drug transporters also contribute to bilirubin elimination, the purpose of this work was to investigate the in vitro inhibition of OATP1B1, OATP1B3, MRP2, and BSEP of select test drugs known to elicit hyperbilirubinemia. Test drugs investigated in this study were atazanavir and indinavir, which are associated with hyperbilirubinemia and elevations in serum transaminase; ritonavir and nelfinavir, which are not associated with hyperbilirubinemia; and bromfenac, troglitazone, and trovafloxacin, which are associated with severe idiosyncratic hepatotoxicity exhibiting elevations in serum bilirubin and transaminase. Due to limited solubility and poor ionization of bilirubin and its glucuronide, the formation of estradiol 3-glucuronide was used as a surrogate to assess UGT1A1 activity, while the transport of pitavastatin, CDCF, and taurocholate were used as surrogate probe substrates to monitor the function of OATP1B1/OATP1B3, MRP2, and BSEP, respectively. It was assumed that any inhibition of the surrogate probe substrates by test drugs is indicative of the potential impact of test drugs to modulate the function of proteins involved in bilirubin disposition. In vitro inhibition was determined by calculating IC50. Moreover, Cmax and Cmax,free were integrated with IC50 values to calculate R and Rfree, respectively, which represents the ratio of probe drug glucuronidation/transport in the absence and presence of test drugs. Analysis of the data showed that Rfree demonstrated the best correlation to hyperbilirubinemia. Specifically, Rfree was above the 1.1 target threshold against UGT1A1, OATP1B1, and BSEP for atazanavir and indinavir. In contrast, Rfree was below this threshold for ritonavir and nelfinavir as well as for bromfenac, troglitazone, and trovafloxacin. For all test drugs examined, only minor inhibition against OATP1B3 and MRP2 were observed. These data suggest that the proposed surrogate probe substrates to evaluate the in vitro inhibition of UGT1A1, OATP1B1, and BSEP may be suitable to assess bilirubin disposition. For protease inhibitors, inclusion of OATP1B1 and BSEP inhibition may improve the predictability of hyperbilirubinemia.

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