Identification of Hepatic Phospholipidosis Inducers in Sandwich-Cultured Rat Hepatocytes, a Physiologically Relevant Model, Reveals Altered Basolateral Uptake and Biliary Excretion of Anionic Probe Substrates

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Drug-induced phospholipidosis (PLD) is characterized by phospholipid accumulation within the lysosomes of affected tissues, resulting in lysosomal enlargement and laminar body inclusions. Numerous adverse effects and toxicities have been linked to PLD-inducing drugs, but it remains unknown whether drug-induced PLD represents a distinct toxicity or cellular adaptation.In silicoand immortalized cellular models have been used to evaluate the PLD potential of new drugs, but these systems have some limitations. The aims of this study were to determine whether primary sandwich-cultured hepatocytes (SCH) can serve as a sensitive and selective model to evaluate hepatic drug-induced PLD, and to evaluate the impact of PLD on the uptake and biliary excretion of probe substrates, taurocholate (TC) and rosuvastatin (RSV). Rat SCH were cultured for 48 h with prototypic hepatic PLD-inducing drugs, amiodarone (AMD), chloroquine (CHQ), desipramine (DES), and azithromycin (AZI), as well as the renal PLD inducer gentamicin (GTM). LysoTracker Red localization and transmission electron microscopy indicated enlarged lysosomal compartments and laminar body inclusions in SCH treated with AMD, CHQ, DES, and AZI, but not GTM, relative to control. PLD resulted in a 51–92% decrease in thein vitrobiliary clearance of both TC and RSV; the biliary excretion index significantly decreased for TC from 88 to 35–73%. These data suggested that PLD significantly reduced both organic anion transporting polypeptide-mediated uptake, and bile salt export pump-mediated biliary transport processes. The current study demonstrates that the rat SCH system is a promising model to study hepatic PLDin vitro. Altered hepatic transport of anionic substrates secondary to drug-induced PLD is a novel finding.

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