Application of RPTEC/TERT1 cells for investigation of repeat dose nephrotoxicity: A transcriptomic study

Lydia Aschauer, Alice Limonciel, Anja Wilmes, Sven Stanzel, Annette Kopp-Schneider, Philip Hewitt, Arno Lukas, Martin Leonard, Walter Pfaller, Paul Jennings*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


The kidney is a major target organ for toxicity. Incidence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) is increasing at an alarming rate due to factors such as increasing population age and increased prevalence of heart disease and diabetes. There is a major effort ongoing to develop superior predictive models of renal injury and early renal biomarkers that can predict onset of CKD. In the EU FP7 funded project, Predict-IV, we investigated the human renal proximal tubule cells line, RPTEC/TERT1 for their applicability to long term nephrotoxic mechanistic studies. To this end, we used a tiered strategy to optimise dosing regimes for 9 nephrotoxins. Our final testing protocol utilised differentiated RPTEC/TERT1 cells cultured on filter inserts treated with compounds at both the apical and basolateral side, at concentrations not exceeding IC10, for 14 days in a 24 h repeat application. Transepithelial electrical resistance and supernatant lactate were measured over the duration of the experiments and genome wide transcriptomic profiles were assayed at day 1, 3 and 14. The effect of hypoxia was investigated for a subset of compounds. The transcriptomic data were analysed to investigate compound-specific effects, global responses and mechanistically informative signatures. In addition, several potential clinically useful renal injury biomarkers were identified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-116
Number of pages11
JournalToxicology in Vitro
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 25 Dec 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was funded by the European Union’s 7th Framework Programme ( FP7/2007–2013 ) under Grant agreement no 202222, Predict-IV.


  • Nephrotoxin
  • Proximal tubule
  • Stress response
  • Transcriptomics


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