Purpose: To investigate the potential interaction between grapefruit juice (GFJ) and the oral microtubule polymerization inhibitor colchicine, a P-gp and CYP3A4 substrate.
Methods: Colchicine intestinal epithelial transport was investigated across Caco-2 cell monolayers in both AP-BL and BL-AP directions, in the absence/presence of known P-gp inhibitors (verapamil and quinidine). The concentration-dependent effects of GFJ and its major constituents (6'-7'-dihydroxybergamottin, naringin and naringenin) on colchicine Caco-2 mucosal secretion were examined. The effect of GFJ on colchicine intestinal-permeability was then investigated in-situ in the rat perfusion model, in both jejunum and ileum.
Results: Colchicine exhibited 20-fold higher BL-AP than AP-BL Caco-2 permeability, indicative of net mucosal secretion, which was reduced by verapamil/quinidine. Colchicine AP-BL permeability was increased and BL-AP was decreased by GFJ in a concentration-dependent manner (IC(50) values of 0.75% and 0.46% respectively), suggesting inhibition of efflux transport, rather than metabolizing enzyme. Similar effects obtained following pre-experiment incubation with GFJ, even though the juice was not present throughout the transepithelial study. 6'-7'-Dihydroxybergamottin, naringin and naringenin displayed concentration-dependent inhibition on colchicine BL-AP secretion (IC(50) values of 90, 592 and 11.6 microM respectively). Ten percent GFJ doubled colchicine rat in-situ ileal permeability, and increased 1.5-fold jejunal permeability.
Conclusion: The data suggest that GFJ may augment colchicine oral bioavailability. Due to colchicine narrow therapeutic-index and severely toxic side-effects, awareness of this interaction is prudent.