Background: P-Glycoprotein is an efflux pump in many epithelial cells with excretory function. It has been demonstrated that rifampin (INN, rifampicin) induces P-glycoprotein, particularly in the gut wall. We therefore hypothesized that rifampin affects pharmacokinetics of the P-glycoprotein substrate talinolol, a beta1-blocker without appreciable metabolic disposition but intense intestinal secretion in human beings.
Methods: Pharmacokinetics of talinolol (a single dose of 30 mg administered intravenously or 100 mg administered orally for 7 days) and duodenal expression of the MDR1 gene product P-glycoprotein as assessed by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction of the MDR1-messenger ribonucleic acid, by immunohistochemistry and Western blot analysis were analyzed before and after coadministration of rifampin (600 mg per day for 9 days) in 8 male healthy volunteers (age 22 to 26 years).
Results: During rifampin treatment, the areas under the curve of intravenous and oral talinolol were significantly lower (21% and 35%; P < .05). Treatment with rifampin resulted in a significantly increased expression of duodenal P-glycoprotein content 4.2-fold (2.9, 6.51) (Western blot) and messenger RNA was increased in six of the eight volunteers. P-Glycoprotein expression in biopsy specimens of gut mucosa correlated significantly with the systemic clearance of intravenous talinolol (rs = 0.74; P < .001).
Conclusions: Rifampin induces P-glycoprotein-mediated excretion of talinolol predominantly in the gut wall. Moreover, clearance of talinolol from the blood into the lumen of the gastrointestinal tract may be predicted by the individual intestinal P-glycoprotein expression. Thus we describe a new type of steady-state drug interaction affecting compounds that are subject to transport rather than metabolism.