Biotechnology Letters, Vol.43, No.2, 383-392, 2021
Evaluation of hepatic drug-metabolism for glioblastoma using liver-brain chip
Glioma is one of the most aggressive and highly fatal diseases with an extremely poor prognosis. Considering the poor clinical response to therapy in glioma, it is urgent to establish an in vitro model to facilitate the screening and assessment of anti-brain-tumor drugs. The blood-brain barrier (BBB), as well as liver metabolism plays an important role in determining the pharmacological activity of many anti-brain-tumor drugs. In this work, we designed a multi-interface liver-brain chip integrating co-culture system to assess hepatic metabolism dependent cytotoxicity of anti-brain-tumor drug in vitro. This microdevice composed of three microchannels which were separated by porous membrane and collagen. HepG2 and U87 cells were cultured in separated channels as mimics of liver and glioblastoma. Brain microvascular endothelial cells (BMECS) and cerebral astrocytes were co-cultured on collagen to mimic the brain microvascular endothelial barrier. Three common anti-tumor drugs, paclitaxel (PTX), capecitabine (CAP) and temozolomide (TMZ), were evaluated on this chip. In integrated liver-brain chip, liver enhanced the cytotoxicity of CAP on U87 cells by 30%, but having no significant effect on TMZ. The BBB decreased the cytotoxicity of PTX by 20%, while no significant effects were observed on TMZ and CAP, indicating the importance of liver metabolism and blood-brain barrier on the evaluation of anti-brain-tumor drugs. This work provides a biomimetic liver-brain model to mimic the physiological and pharmacological processes in vitro and presents a simple platform for long-term cell co-culture, drug delivery and metabolism, and real-time analysis of drug effects on brain cancer.