Effects of fibrates on human organic anion-transporting polypeptide 1B1-, multidrug resistance protein 2- and P-glycoprotein-mediated transport

Xenobiotica. 2005 Jul;35(7):737-53. doi: 10.1080/00498250500136676.


The effects of different fibric acid derivatives (bezafibrate, clofibrate, clofibric acid, fenofibrate, fenofibric acid and gemfibrozil) on human organic anion transporting-polypeptide 1B1 (OATP2, OATP-C, SLC21A6), multidrug resistance protein 2 (MRP2/ABCC2) and MDR1-type P-glycoprotein (P-gp/ABCB1) were examined in vitro. Cyclosporin A (a known inhibitor of OATP1B1 and P-gp), MK-571 (a known inhibitor of MRP2) and cimetidine (an organic cation) were also tested. Bezafibrate, fenofibrate, fenofibric acid and gemfibrozil showed concentration-dependent inhibition of estradiol 17-beta-D-glucuronide uptake by OATP1B1-stably transfected HEK cells, whereas clofibrate and clofibric acid did not show any significant effects up to 100 microM. Inhibition kinetics of gemfibrozil, which exhibited the most significant inhibition on OATP1B1, was shown to be competitive with a Ki = 12.5 microM. None of the fibrates showed any significant inhibition of MRP2-mediated transport, which was evaluated by measuring the uptake of ethacrynic acid glutathione into MRP2-expressing Sf9 membrane vesicles. Only fenofibrate showed moderate P-gp inhibition as assessed by measuring cellular accumulation of vinblastine in a P-gp overexpressing cell-line. Cyclosporin A significantly inhibited OATP1B1 and P-gp, whereas only moderate inhibition was observed on MRP2. The rank order of inhibitory potency of MK-571 was determined as OATP1B1 (IC50: 0.3 microM) > MRP2 (4 microM) > P-gp (25 microM). Cimetidine did not show any effects on these transporters. In conclusion, neither MRP2- nor P-gp-mediated transport is inhibited significantly by the fibrates tested. Considering the plasma protein binding and IC50 values for OATP1B1, only gemfibrozil appeared to have a potential to cause drug-drug interactions by inhibiting OATP1B1 at clinically relevant concentrations.

MeSH terms

  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B, Member 1 / antagonists & inhibitors
  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B, Member 1 / metabolism*
  • Biological Transport, Active / drug effects
  • Cell Line
  • Clofibric Acid / pharmacology*
  • Drug Interactions
  • Enzyme Activation / drug effects
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Estradiol / analogs & derivatives
  • Estradiol / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Hypolipidemic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Liver-Specific Organic Anion Transporter 1 / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Liver-Specific Organic Anion Transporter 1 / metabolism*
  • Membrane Transport Proteins / metabolism*
  • Multidrug Resistance-Associated Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Multidrug Resistance-Associated Proteins / metabolism*


  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B, Member 1
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Hypolipidemic Agents
  • Liver-Specific Organic Anion Transporter 1
  • Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Multidrug Resistance-Associated Proteins
  • estradiol-17 beta-glucuronide
  • multidrug resistance-associated protein 2
  • Estradiol
  • Clofibric Acid