Purpose: The in vivo effect of modulators of P-glycoprotein (Pgp) on organ accumulation of substrates of Pgp has not been fully investigated. We investigated the influence of a Pgp modulator (tamoxifen, TAM) on the pharmacokinetics and toxicodynamics of a Pgp substrate (doxorubicin, DOX) in rats.
Methods: TAM was administered daily for 11 days before the administration of DOX in male Sprague-Dawley rats, with all doses being clinically relevant. The experimental design of the project consisted of two different protocols. One was to investigate the effect of DOX on the time course of Pgp-ATPase activity, sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) -ATPase (SERCA) activity, and DOX concentration in the heart, liver, and kidneys of TAM-pretreated animals; the other protocol was to study the effect of TAM pretreatment on the disposition of DOX in the body by investigating its time course in plasma, urine and bile.
Results: The simultaneous curve fitting of plasma data with urine and bile data with the help of the related pharmacokinetic equations provided the calculated parameters and constants. The first-order rate constants between the central and the myocardial compartments (k(1H) and k(H1)) were decreased in the TAM-treated group. The treatment also significantly reduced the k(1H)/k(H1) ratio in comparison to that of the control group. The first-order biliary elimination rate constant (k(b)) was significantly decreased (29%) in the TAM-treated group. The reduction was estimated in comparison with that of the control group. This reduction could be attributed to the inhibitory effect of TAM on Pgp located on biliary canicular membranes. The initial reduction of Pgp activity in TAM-treated group was at 60% of the basal level. The activity declined and reached a plateau at 20% of the basal activity after 6 h and remained at that level for 24 h. The area under the curves of Pgp-ATPase activity time (AUC(Activity 0-24)) following DOX administration in TAM-treated group was significantly lower than that of the control group, indicating an overall inhibitory effect of TAM on Pgp-ATPase activity under the protocol of this study. The area under the curves of the SERCA activity-time curve following DOX administration in TAM-treated group demonstrated a 15% reduction in AUC(Activity 0-24) in comparison with that of the control group, an indication of increased toxicity. The amount of myocardial Pgp in the 24-h period following DOX administration was comparable to the control group and showed no significant deviation from the basal levels of the protein.
Conclusions: The effect of TAM on DOX accumulation in the myocardial tissue and the increase in cardiotoxicity can be related to the net inhibitory effect of TAM on the efflux activity of Pgp in the heart. The results of the present study supported the hypothesis of the project that multiple regimen pretreatment with Pgp modulator TAM increases the DOX accumulation in the heart and promotes DOX-induced cardiotoxicity.