The intrinsic absorption of salbutamol in different intestinal segments of the rat was measured and related with the corresponding intestinal P-glycoprotein (P-gp) expression levels. The apparent absorption rate constants (k(a), h(-1)) observed in each fraction by means of the "in situ" rat gut absorption method after perfusion of a 0.29-mM isotonic solution of salbutamol were used as absorption indexes. In a separate series of studies, a semiquantitative analysis of the mRNA expression of P-gp by means of polymerase chain reaction and Western blot with an antibody raised against the P-gp were also performed. The "in situ" k(a) values determined in the different segments (h(-1)) showed that the absorption is not homogeneous along the intestinal tract, that is, 0.499 +/- 0.054 for colon, 0.474 +/- 0.052 for the proximal segment, 0.345 +/- 0.014 for the mean, and 0.330 +/- 0.023 for the distal fraction. Addition of verapamil to the perfusion fluid did provide a better absorption of salbutamol in the distal segment. The analysis of the mRNA expression and levels of P-gp showed that the enzyme content in each section of the intestine was inversely related to salbutamol absorption.
Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc. and the American Pharmacists Association J Pharm Sci 93:1641-1648, 2004