The translational value of high-throughput toxicity testing will depend on pharmacokinetic validation. Yet, popular in vitro airway epithelia models were optimized for structure and mucociliary function without considering the bioactivation or detoxification capabilities of lung-specific enzymes. This study evaluated xenobiotic metabolism maintenance within differentiated air-liquid interface (ALI) airway epithelial cell cultures (human bronchial; human, rhesus, and mouse tracheal), isolated airway epithelial cells (human, rhesus, and mouse tracheal; rhesus bronchial), and ex vivo microdissected airways (rhesus and mouse) by measuring gene expression, glutathione content, and naphthalene metabolism. Glutathione levels and detoxification gene transcripts were measured after 1-h exposure to 80 mM naphthalene (a bioactivated toxicant) or reactive naphthoquinone metabolites. Glutathione and glutathione-related enzyme transcript levels were maintained in ALI cultures from all species relative to source tissues, while cytochrome P450 monooxygenase gene expression declined. Notable species differences among the models included a 40-fold lower total glutathione content for mouse ALI trachea cells relative to human and rhesus; a higher rate of naphthalene metabolism in mouse ALI cultures for naphthalene-glutathione formation (100-fold over rhesus) and naphthalene-dihydrodiol production (10-fold over human); and opposite effects of 1,2-naphthoquinone exposure in some models—glutathione was depleted in rhesus tissue but rose in mouse ALI samples. The responses of an immortalized bronchial cell line to naphthalene and naphthoquinones were inconsistent with those of human ALI cultures. These findings of preserved species differences and the altered balance of phase I and phase II xenobiotic metabolism among the characterized in vitro models should be considered for future pulmonary toxicity testing.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||American Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology|
|State||Published - Sep 2022|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Physiology (medical)
- Cell Biology