Simulation of the crosstalk between glucose and acetaminophen metabolism in a liver zonation model

Kazuhiro Maeda, Shuta Hagimori, Masahiro Sugimoto, Yasuyuki Sakai, Masaki Nishikawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The liver metabolizes a variety of substances that sometimes interact and regulate each other. The modeling of a single cell or a single metabolic pathway does not represent the complexity of the organ, including metabolic zonation (heterogeneity of functions) along with liver sinusoids. Here, we integrated multiple metabolic pathways into a single numerical liver zonation model, including drug and glucose metabolism. The model simulated the time-course of metabolite concentrations by the combination of dynamic simulation and metabolic flux analysis and successfully reproduced metabolic zonation and localized hepatotoxicity induced by acetaminophen (APAP). Drug metabolism was affected by nutritional status as the glucuronidation reaction rate changed. Moreover, sensitivity analysis suggested that the reported metabolic characteristics of obese adults and healthy infants in glucose metabolism could be associated with the metabolic features of those in drug metabolism. High activities of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) and glucose-6-phosphate phosphatase in obese adults led to increased APAP oxidation by cytochrome P450 2E1. In contrast, the high activity of glycogen synthase and low activities of PEPCK and glycogen phosphorylase in healthy infants led to low glucuronidation and high sulfation rates of APAP. In summary, this model showed the effects of glucose metabolism on drug metabolism by integrating multiple pathways into a single liver metabolic zonation model.

Original languageEnglish
Article number995597
JournalFrontiers in Pharmacology
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Sept 23


  • acetaminophen
  • glucose
  • hepatocytes
  • mathematical model
  • metabolism
  • zonation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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