We report here successful isolation and cryopreservation of enterocytes from human small intestine. The enterocytes were isolated by enzyme digestion of the intestinal lumen followed by partial purification via differential centrifugation. The enterocytes were cryopreserved directly after isolation without culturing to maximize retention of in vivo drug metabolizing enzyme activities. Post-thaw viability of the cryopreserved enterocytes was consistently over 80% based on trypan blue exclusion. Cryopreserved enterocytes pooled from 8 donors (4 male and 4 female) were evaluated for their metabolism of 14 pathway-selective substrates: CYP1A2 (phenacetin hydroxylation), CYP2A6 (coumarin 7-hydroxylation), CYP2B6 (bupropion hydroxylation), CYP2C8 (paclitaxel 6α-hydroxylation), CYP2C9 (diclofenac 4-hydroxylation), CYP2C19 (s-mephenytoin 4-hydroxylation), CYP2D6 (dextromethorphan hydroxylation), CYP2E1 (chlorzoxazone 6-hydroxylation), CYP3A4 (midazolam 1'-hydroxylation and testosterone 6β-hydroxylation), CYP2J2 (astemizole O-demethylation), UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT; 7-hydroxycoumarin glucuronidation), sulfotransferase (SULT; 7-hydroxycoumarin sulfation), and carboxylesterase 2 (CES2; irinotecan hydrolysis) activities. Quantifiable activities were observed for CYP2C8, CYP2C9, CYP2C19, CYP2E1, CYP3A4, CYPJ2, CES2, UGT and SULT, but not for CYP1A2, CYP2A6, CYP2B6 and CYP2D6. Enterocytes from all 24 donors were then individually evaluated for the quantifiable drug metabolism pathways. All demonstrated quantifiable activities with the expected individual variations. Our results suggest that cryopreserved human enterocytes represent a physiologically relevant and convenient in vitro experimental system for the evaluation of intestinal metabolism, akin to cryopreserved human hepatocytes for hepatic metabolism.
- cytochrome P450
- drug absorption
- gastrointestinal tract
- sulfate conjugation/sulfotransferases/SULT
- The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics