In the present study we show that neutral hexanoyl-(glyco)sphingolipids inhibit P-glycoprotein (Pgp) activity in human ovarian 2780AD cells. By contrast, hexanoylceramide and the gangliosides GM(3) and GM(2) had no effect on Pgp activity, whereas sphingosine had a stimulating effect. In the case of hexanoylglucosylceramide, inhibition of Pgp activity by was reflected by a regained doxorubicin sensitivity of cells, which were grown in medium supplemented with the lipid. Our results lead to the conclusion that a direct transmodulation of Pgp activity by glycolipids occurs, depending on lipid headgroup structure, which can result in reduced resistance to the chemotherapeutic agent doxorubicin.
Copyright 1999 Academic Press.