An in situ mouse brain perfusion model predictive of passive and carrier-mediated transport across the blood-brain barrier (BBB) was developed and applied to mdr1a P-glycoprotein (Pgp)-deficient mice [mdr1a(-/-)]. Cerebral flow was estimated from diazepam uptake. Physical integrity of the BBB was assessed with sucrose/inulin spaces; functional integrity was assessed with glucose uptake, which was saturable with a Km of approximately 17 mmol/L and Vmax of 310 mmol x 100 g(-1) x min(-1). Brain uptake of a Pgp substrate (colchicine) was significantly enhanced (two- to fourfold) in mdr1a(-/-) mice. These data suggest that the model is applicable to elucidating the effects of efflux transporters, including Pgp, on brain uptake.