Functional involvement of organic cation transporter1 (OCT1/Oct1) in the hepatic uptake of organic cations in humans and rats

Xenobiotica. 2007 Aug;37(8):818-31. doi: 10.1080/00498250701546012.


The contribution of organic cation transporters to the saturable component in the hepatic uptake of 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP), tetraethylammonium (TEA), cimetidine, and metformin was examined by the use of human/rat organic cation transporter (hOCT1/rOct1)-expressing cells and human/rat hepatocytes. Transfection of rOct1 resulted in a considerable increase in the uptake of metformin, whereas that of hOCT1 resulted in only a slight increase. All test compounds (MPP, TEA, cimetidine, and metformin) accumulated in human and rat hepatocytes in a carrier-mediated manner. The Km values for the uptake of MPP, TEA, cimetidine, and metformin into human and rat hepatocytes were comparable with those into hOCT1 and rOct1-expressing cells, respectively. In addition, the relative uptake activities, which were obtained by normalizing the intrinsic uptake clearances of TEA, cimetidine, and metformin against those values of MPP in human and rat hepatocytes, were similar with the uptake activities in hOCT1 and rOct1, respectively. These results suggest that the saturable component in the hepatic uptake of these cationic compounds may be mediated mainly by hOCT1/rOct1; therefore, it is meaningful to evaluate the saturable uptake profile of cationic compounds by the liver using both hOCT1/rOct1-expressing cells and human/rat hepatocytes.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carbon Radioisotopes
  • Cell Line
  • Cimetidine / metabolism*
  • Cryopreservation
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Hepatocytes / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Metformin / metabolism*
  • Organic Anion Transporters, Sodium-Independent / metabolism
  • Organic Cation Transporter 1 / metabolism*
  • Pyridinium Compounds / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Tetraethylammonium / metabolism*
  • Transfection
  • Tritium


  • Carbon Radioisotopes
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Organic Anion Transporters, Sodium-Independent
  • Organic Cation Transporter 1
  • Pyridinium Compounds
  • organic anion transport protein 3
  • Tritium
  • Tetraethylammonium
  • 1-methylpyridinium
  • Cimetidine
  • Metformin