Establishing allometric relationships between microsomal protein and cytochrome P450 content with body weight in vertebrate species

L.S. Lautz*, A.J. Hendriks, J.L.C.M. Dorne, J. Louisse, N.I. Kramer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Data from in vitro studies are routinely used to estimate in vivo hepatic clearance of chemicals and this information is needed to parameterise physiologically based kinetic models. Such clearance data can be obtained from laboratory experiments using liver microsomes, hepatocytes, precision-cut liver slices or recombinant enzymes. Irrespective of the selected test system, scaling factors are required to convert the in vitro measured intrinsic clearance to a whole liver intrinsic clearance. Scaling factors such as the hepatic microsomal protein per gram of liver and/or the amount of cytochrome P450 per hepatocyte provide a means to calculate the whole liver intrinsic clearance. Here, a database from the peer-reviewed literature has been developed and provides quantitative metrics on microsomal protein (MP) and cytochrome P450 contents in vertebrate orders namely amphibians, mammals, birds, fish and reptiles. This database allows to address allometric relationships between body weight and MP content, and body weight and cytochrome P450 content. A total of 85 and 74 vertebrate species were included to assess the relationships between log10 body weight versus log10 MP, and between log10 body weight and log10 cytochrome P450 content, respectively. The resulting slopes range from 0.76 to 1.45 in a range of vertebrate species. Such data-driven allometric relationships can be used to estimate the MP content necessary for in vitro to in vivo extrapolation of in vitro clearance data. Future work includes applications of these relationships for different vertebrate taxa using quantitative in vitro to in vivo extrapolation models coupled to physiologically based kinetic models using chemicals of relevance as case studies including pesticides, contaminants and feed additives.

Original languageEnglish
Article number153429
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2023


  • Allometric scaling
  • Liver protein
  • Protein content variability
  • Species differences, PBK model


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