Modulation of trabectedin (ET-743) hepatobiliary disposition by multidrug resistance-associated proteins (Mrps) may prevent hepatotoxicity

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Trabectedin is a promising anticancer agent, but dose-limiting hepatotoxicity was observed during phase I/II clinical trials. Dexamethasone (DEX) has been shown to significantly reduce trabectedin-mediated hepatotoxicity. The current study was designed to assess the capability of sandwich-cultured primary rat hepatocytes (SCRH) to predict the hepato-protective effect of DEX against trabectedin-mediated cytotoxicity. The role of multidrug resistance-associated protein 2 (Mrp2; Abcc2) in trabectedin hepatic disposition also was examined. In SCRH from wild-type Wistar rats, cytotoxicity was observed after 24-h continuous exposure to trabectedin. SCRH pretreated with additional DEX (1 μM) exhibited a 2- to 3-fold decrease in toxicity at 100 nM and 1000 nM trabectedin. Unexpectedly, toxicity in SCRH from Mrp2-deficient (TR) compared to wild-type Wistar rats was markedly reduced. Depletion of glutathione from SCRH using buthionine sulfoximine (BSO) mitigated trabectedin toxicity associated with 100 nM and 1000 nM trabectedin. Western blot analysis demonstrated increased levels of CYP3A1/2 and Mrp2 in SCRH pretreated with DEX; interestingly, Mrp4 expression was increased in SCRH after BSO exposure. Trabectedin biliary recovery in isolated perfused livers from TR rats was decreased by ˜75% compared to wild-type livers. In conclusion, SCRH represent a useful in vitro model to predict the hepatotoxicity of trabectedin observed in vivo. The protection by DEX against trabectedin-mediated cytotoxicity may be attributed, in part, to enhanced Mrp2 biliary excretion and increased metabolism by CYP3A1/2. Decreased trabectedin toxicity in SCRH from TR rats, and in SCRH pretreated with BSO, may be due to increased basolateral excretion of trabectedin by Mrp3 and/or Mrp4.

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