Ontogeny of Hepatic Transporters and Drug-Metabolizing Enzymes in Humans and in Nonclinical Species

Bianca Groen, J Nicolai, AC Kuik, S Van Cruchten, E Peer, A Smits, S Schmidt, SN Wildt, Karel Allegaert, L De Schaepdrijver, P Annaert, J Badee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


The liver represents a major eliminating and detoxifying organ, determining exposure to endogenous compounds, drugs, and other xenobiotics. Drug transporters (DTs) and drug-metabolizing enzymes (DMEs) are key determinants of disposition, efficacy, and toxicity of drugs. Changes in theirmRNAand protein expression levels and associated functional activity between the perinatal period until adulthood impact drug disposition. However, high-resolution ontogeny profiles for hepatic DTs and DMEs in nonclinical species and humans are lacking. Meanwhile, increasing use of physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) models necessitates availability of underlying ontogeny profiles to reliably predict drug exposure in children. In addition, understanding of species similarities and differences in DT/DME ontogeny is crucial for selecting the most appropriate animal species when studying the impact of development on pharmacokinetics. Cross-species ontogenymapping is also required for adequate translation of drug disposition data in developing nonclinical species to humans. This review presents a quantitative cross-species compilation of the ontogeny of DTs and DMEs relevant to hepatic drug disposition. A comprehensive literature search was conducted on PubMed Central: Tables and graphs (often after digitization) in original manuscripts were used to extract ontogeny data. Data from independent studies were standardized and normalized before being compiled in graphs and tables for further interpretation. New insights gained from these highresolution ontogeny profiles will be indispensable to understand cross-species differences in maturation of hepatic DTs and DMEs. Integration of these ontogeny data into PBPK models will support improved predictions of pediatric hepatic drug disposition processes. Significance Statement Hepatic drug transporters (DTs) and drug-metabolizing enzymes (DMEs) play pivotal roles in hepatic drug disposition. Developmental changes in expression levels and activities of these proteins drive age-dependent pharmacokinetics. This review compiles the currently available ontogeny profiles of DTs and DMEs expressed in livers of humans and nonclinical species, enabling robust interpretation of age-related changes in drug disposition and ultimately optimization of pediatric drug therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)597-678
Number of pages82
JournalPharmacological Reviews
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


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