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Stability investigations of cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes immediately after death in a pig model support the applicability of postmortem hepatic CYP quantification

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Quantification of drug-metabolizing cytochrome P450 (CYP) isoforms using LC-MS/MS has been proposed as a potential way of estimating antemortem CYP levels using postmortem tissue, but the postmortem stability of CYP proteins is incompletely investigated. If one can use data obtained from the analysis of postmortem specimens to inform physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) models this greatly increases the access to rare specimens among special subpopulations. In this study, we developed and validated an LC-MS/MS method for targeted CYP protein quantification in a porcine animal model to study postmortem stability. We measured 19.9-28.3 pmol CYP1A2, 50.3-66.2 pmol CYP2D25, 132.9-142.7 pmol CYP2E1, and 16.8-48 pmol CYP3A29 protein per mg PLM in nondegraded tissue. In tissue stored at 4°C, we found that the CYP protein levels were unaffected by degradation after 72 h. At 21°C CYP1A2, CYP2D25, and CYP2E1 protein levels were nearly unaffected by degradation after 24 h, whereas a loss of approximately 50% was seen after 48 h. At 21°C CYP3A29 had a loss of 50% at 24 h and 70% at 48 h exhibiting less postmortem stability. In vitro enzyme activity measurements in the same tissue stored at 21°C showed a 50% decrease after 24 h and a complete loss of enzyme activity after 48 h. When stored at 4°C, the in vitro enzyme activity decreased to 50% activity after 96 h. In conclusion, measuring CYP levels by an LC-MS/MS approach was clearly less affected by postmortem changes than an activity-based approach. The found postmortem stability for 24 h at 21°C for 3 out of 4 CYP isoforms supports the use of properly stored postmortem tissue to inform PBPK models.

TidsskriftPharmacology research & perspectives
Antal sider10
StatusUdgivet - okt. 2021

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