Cisplatin is a cytostatic drug used for treatment of solid organ tumors. The main adverse effect is organic cation transporter 2 (OCT2)-mediated nephrotoxicity, observed in 30% of patients. The contribution of other renal drug transporters is elusive. Here, cisplatin-induced toxicity was evaluated in human-derived conditionally immortalized proximal tubule epithelial cells (ciPTEC) expressing renal drug transporters, including OCT2 and organic anion transporters 1 (OAT1) or 3 (OAT3). Parent ciPTEC demonstrated OCT2-dependent cisplatin toxicity (TC50 34 ± 1 μM after 24-hour exposure), as determined by cell viability. Overexpression of OAT1 and OAT3 resulted in reduced sensitivity to cisplatin (TC50 45 ± 6 and 64 ± 11 μM after 24-hour exposure, respectively). This effect was independent of OAT-mediated transport, as the OAT substrates probenecid and diclofenac did not influence cytotoxicity. Decreased cisplatin sensitivity in OAT-expressing cells was associated directly with a trend toward reduced intracellular cisplatin accumulation, explained by reduced OCT2 gene expression and activity. This was evaluated by Vmax of the OCT2-model substrate ASP+ (23.5 ± 0.1, 13.1 ± 0.3, and 21.6 ± 0.6 minutes-1 in ciPTEC-parent, ciPTEC-OAT1, and ciPTEC-OAT3, respectively). Although gene expression of cisplatin efflux transporter multidrug and toxin extrusion 1 (MATE1) was 16.2 ± 0.3-fold upregulated in ciPTEC-OAT1 and 6.1 ± 0.7-fold in ciPTEC-OAT3, toxicity was unaffected by the MATE substrate pyrimethamine, suggesting that MATE1 does not play a role in the current experimental set-up. In conclusion, OAT expression results in reduced cisplatin sensitivity in renal proximal tubule cells, explained by reduced OCT2-mediated uptake capacity. In vitro drug-induced toxicity studies should consider models that express both OCT and OAT drug transporters.
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