Aim: The uptake of drugs from the blood into the renal tubular cells is a key determinant for renal secretion and may influence their systemic plasma concentrations and extrarenal effects. Metformin, used for treatment of type 2 diabetes, is taken up into renal tubular cells by the organic cation transporter 2 (OCT2). Because many patients with type 2 diabetes receiving metformin are concomitantly treated with beta-blockers, we tested whether beta-blockers can inhibit OCT2-mediated drug transport.
Method: Using Madin-Darby canine kidney II cells stably expressing the uptake transporter OCT2, we analysed whether the beta-blockers bisoprolol, carvedilol, metoprolol and propranolol inhibit the transport of OCT2 substrates 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP(+)) and metformin.
Results: Neither bisoprolol nor metoprolol significantly inhibited the uptake of MPP(+), whereas a significant inhibition was observed for carvedilol und propranolol (half maximal inhibitory concentration IC(50): 26.3 and 67.5 microM) respectively. Moreover, all beta-blockers significantly inhibited OCT2-mediated metformin uptake (IC(50) for bisoprolol: 2.4 microM, IC(50) for carvedilol: 2.3 microM, IC(50) for metoprolol: 50.2 microM and IC(50) for propranolol: 8.3 microM).
Conclusion: These in vitro results demonstrate that alterations of uptake transporter function by beta-blockers have to be considered as potential mechanisms underlying drug-drug interactions in the kidney.