The purpose of this study is to determine the functional role of P-glycoprotein (P-gp) in intestinal absorption of drugs and to quantitatively predict the in vivo absorption enhancement on P-gp inhibition. In situ single-pass rat ileum permeability and aqueous solubility were measured for a set of 16 compounds. Permeability studies were also carried out in the presence of P-gp inhibitor to estimate the permeability enhancement on P-gp inhibition. A significant correlation was obtained between rat ileum permeability and the literature human intestinal absorption (HIA), F(a,human) (r = 0.891; p < 0.01). Compounds with permeability >0.2 x 10(-4) cm/s are completely absorbed; however, few practically insoluble compounds were overestimated with this relationship. Inhibition of P-gp increased the permeability (p < 0.05) of three moderately and three highly permeable compounds. Efflux inhibition ratio (EIR), the ratio of permeability due to P-gp-mediated efflux activity and passive permeability only, for these compounds was in the order of digoxin > paclitaxel > fexofenadine > quinidine > verapamil > cyclosporine. Integration of EIR with permeability versus F(a,human) predicted that modulation of P-gp has no significant effect on the absorption of highly permeable compounds (quinidine, verapamil, and cyclosporine A), while for moderately permeable compounds (digoxin, paclitaxel, and fexofenadine), P-gp profoundly influences the intestinal permeability. The in situ permeability in rat ileum may be used to predict the in vivo P-gp function and its quantitative contribution to intestinal drug absorption. Integration of the functional activity of P-gp with the characteristics of BCS may explain drug interactions and explore the possible pharmacokinetic advantage on P-gp inhibition.
(c) 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc. and the American Pharmacists Association