Pharmacokinetics of P-glycoprotein inhibition in the rat blood-brain barrier

J Pharm Sci. 2008 Dec;97(12):5386-400. doi: 10.1002/jps.21359.


This article describes the experimental set-up and pharmacokinetic modeling of P-glycoprotein function in the rat blood-brain barrier using [(11)C]verapamil as the substrate and cyclosporin A as an inhibitor of P-gp. [(11)C]verapamil was administered to rats as an i.v. bolus dose followed by graded infusions to obtain steady-state concentrations in the brain during 70 min. CsA was administered as a bolus followed by a constant infusion 20 min after the start of the [(11)C]verapamil infusion. The brain uptake of [(11)C]verapamil over 2 h was portrayed in a sequence of PET scans in parallel with measurement of [(11)C]verapamil concentrations in blood and plasma and CsA concentrations in blood. Mixed effects modeling in NONMEM was used to build a pharmacokinetic model of CsA-induced P-gp inhibition. The brain pharmacokinetics of [(11)C]verapamil was well described by a two-compartment model. The effect of CsA on the uptake of [(11)C]verapamil in the brain was best described by an inhibitory indirect effect model with an effect on the transport of [(11)C]verapamil out of the brain. The CsA concentration required to obtain 50% of the maximal inhibition was 4.9 microg/mL (4.1 microM). The model parameters indicated that 93% of the outward transport of [(11)C]verapamil was P-gp mediated.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B, Member 1 / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Animals
  • Blood-Brain Barrier*
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Calcium Channel Blockers / pharmacokinetics
  • Male
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Verapamil / pharmacokinetics


  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B, Member 1
  • Calcium Channel Blockers
  • Verapamil