Effects of the isoflavonoid biochanin A on the transport of mitoxantrone in vitro and in vivo

Biopharm Drug Dispos. 2010 Jul;31(5-6):340-50. doi: 10.1002/bdd.717.


The aim of our study was to investigate the effect of biochanin A on the accumulation and transport of mitoxantrone in breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP)-expressing normal cells and its impact on the pharmacokinetics (PK) and tissue distribution of mitoxantrone. In accumulation studies, the intracellular level of mitoxantrone was significantly increased in the presence of 2.5 or 25 microM of biochanin A in both murine and human BCRP-expressing Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells, with no effect in corresponding MDCK/Mock cells. In bi-directional transport studies, the P(app,B-A) value of mitoxantrone with biochanin A co-treatment was much lower (6.66+/-0.84x10(-7) cm/s) than that in the absence of biochanin A (21.4+/-4.14x10(-7) cm/s), indicating inhibition of Bcrp1-mediated efflux. To evaluate whether our in vitro results might translate into an in vivo interaction, mitoxantrone PK and tissue distribution, with and without co-administration of biochanin A, was investigated. In contrast to our in vitro results, biochanin A (10 mg/kg, i.v.) had no impact on the concentration of mitoxantrone in plasma and most tissues collected (brain, heart, liver and lung). Surprisingly, the concentrations of mitoxantrone in spleen and kidney were even decreased when biochanin A was co-administered. Interestingly, it was found that the intracellular fluorescence of mitoxantrone was decreased 31.9% when co-incubated with 10 microM biochanin A in P-glycoprotein (P-gp) expressing MCF-7/ADR cells, indicating potential P-gp stimulation. The species difference of the inhibitory effect of biochanin A on BCRP, the extensive metabolism of biochanin A, as well as the stimulation effect of biochanin A on P-gp, may contribute to this in vitro-in vivo disconnect.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacokinetics*
  • Biological Transport / drug effects*
  • Cell Line, Transformed
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Combinations
  • Drug Interactions
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm / drug effects
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology*
  • Genistein / administration & dosage
  • Genistein / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mitoxantrone / administration & dosage
  • Mitoxantrone / pharmacokinetics*
  • Tissue Distribution / drug effects*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Drug Combinations
  • Flavonoids
  • Mitoxantrone
  • Genistein
  • biochanin A