Transport Characteristics of Tryptanthrin and its Inhibitory Effect on P-gp and MRP2 in Caco-2 Cells

Xingang Zhu1, Xuelian Zhang1, Guo Ma1, Junkai Yan1, Honghai Wang1, Qing Yang1

1Fudan University


Purpose. Tryptanthrin, an indole quinazoline alkaloid with multiple medical activities, has been recently under preclinical development as an anti-tuberculosis and anti-tumor drug. The aims of this study are to characterize the intestinal transport of tryptanthrin in Caco-2 cells, to determine whether P-glycoprotein (P-gp) and multidrug resistance-associated protein 2 (MRP2) are involved in this issue, and to evaluate the potential influence of tryptanthrin on the function of P-gp and MRP2. Methods. Transport assays of tryptanthrin were performed in Caco-2 monolayers with or without the supplement of P-gp and MRP2 inhibitors. Transport assays of P-gp and MRP2 substrates were also performed in the presence of tryptanthrin. The effect of tryptanthrin on the expression of P-gp and MRP2 was analyzed by reverse transcriptase-PCR. Results. Both absorption and secretion of tryptanthrin were concentration-independent at a low concentration range of 0.8–20 µM. The apparent permeability (Papp) for the apical (AP) to basolateral (BL) was 6.138 ± 0.291 × 10-5. The ratio of Papp (BL→AP) to Papp (AP→BL) was 0.77, suggesting greater permeability in the absorptive direction. Both the P-gp inhibitor, verapamil, and the MRP2 inhibitor, glibenclamide, didn’t affect the efflux transport of tryptanthrin. The efflux transport of the P-gp substrate, digoxin, and the MRP2 substrate, pravastatin sodium, decreased when tryptanthrin was present. However, tryptanthrin didn’t change the expression of P-gp and MRP2. Conclusions. Tryptanthrin was well absorbed across the Caco-2 monolayers, and its transepithelial transports were dominated by passive diffusion. Tryptanthrin was not a substrate, but a potential inhibitor of P-gp and MRP2.

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J Pharm Pharm Sci, 14 (3): 325-335, 2011

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