Transport and in vivo elimination of cysteinyl leukotrienes

Adv Enzyme Regul. 1992:32:107-16. doi: 10.1016/0065-2571(92)90011-n.


Transport processes control not only synthesis and release of LTC4 but also the elimination and excretion of LTC4 and its metabolites. (i) A primary-active ATP-dependent export carrier mediates the release of LTC4 from a leukotriene-generating cell, as exemplified by mastocytoma cells, and as measured in mastocytoma plasma membrane vesicles (2). (ii) Release of cysteinyl leukotrienes into the blood circulation is followed by a rapid elimination with an initial half-life of 38 sec in rats and 4.0 min in man, as measured with the labeled, representative LTC4 catabolite, N-acetyl-LTE4. (iii) 11C-labeled N-acetyl-LTE4 can serve for non-invasive studies on cysteinyl leukotriene elimination and excretion by the liver and kidney in the intact organism using positron emission tomography. An impairment of leukotriene transport from the liver across the canalicular membrane into bile, studied in mutant rats and in extrahepatic cholestasis, leads to a compensatory diversion of cysteinyl leukotriene elimination to the kidney. N-Acetyl-LTE4 labeled with a short-lived positron-emitting isotope provides quantitative insight into the pathways of cysteinyl leukotriene elimination in vivo. (iv) Cysteinyl leukotriene export from the liver into bile is mediated by an ATP-dependent primary-active export carrier. This decisive step in cysteinyl leukotriene elimination has been characterized in hepatocyte canalicular membrane vesicles (3). The leukotriene exporter is deficient in transport mutant rats. The leukotriene carrier is distinct from other ATP-dependent export carriers identified in this membrane domain, such as the ATP-dependent bile salt export carrier (25) and the multidrug export carrier (27).

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphate / pharmacology
  • Bile / metabolism
  • Biological Transport, Active
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Leukotriene E4* / analogs & derivatives*
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Male
  • Metabolic Clearance Rate
  • Middle Aged
  • SRS-A / analogs & derivatives*
  • SRS-A / blood
  • SRS-A / metabolism
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed / methods


  • SRS-A
  • Leukotriene E4
  • N-acetylleukotriene E4
  • Adenosine Triphosphate