Transporters in the intestine limiting drug and toxin absorption

J Physiol Biochem. 2007 Mar;63(1):75-81. doi: 10.1007/BF03174087.


The pharmacokinetic behaviour of drugs strongly depends on transporters in intestine and liver. The extent of absorption in the intestine depends on diffusion across the mucosa as well as transporter-mediated uptake across the apical membrane of enterocytes. Efflux pumps in this membrane may strongly reduce the extent of net uptake. These efflux pumps are ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters which are also expressed in the apical membrane of the hepatocyte were they mediate excretion into bile. This combined activity strongly determines whether drugs have access to the systemic circulation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters / genetics
  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Biological Transport
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Hepatocytes / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Absorption / physiology*
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Pharmacokinetics*
  • Toxins, Biological / pharmacokinetics*


  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters
  • Toxins, Biological