Understanding the interplay of drug transporters involved in the disposition of rosuvastatin in the isolated perfused rat liver using a physiologically-based pharmacokinetic model

Xenobiotica. 2012 Apr;42(4):327-38. doi: 10.3109/00498254.2011.625452. Epub 2011 Oct 30.


The role of hepatic uptake (Oatp1a1 and Oatp1b4) and efflux (Bcrp and Mrp2) transporters in the disposition of rosuvastatin were investigated using the isolated perfused rat liver (IPRL). A simple physiologically-based pharmacokinetic model was developed to quantitatively determine the interplay between the individual transporters. Uptake and elimination of rosuvastatin in the IPRL was rapid and extensive. In the presence of rifamycin (an equipotent inhibitor of both Oatp1a1 and Oatp1a4) the perfusate clearance of rosuvastatin was reduced, but rifampicin (a potent inhibitor of Oatp1a4) had no effect upon the perfusate clearance. This might indicate a limited role for Oatp1a4, but it is possible that Oatp1a1 (or other uptake transporters) may have redundancy in their affinity for rosuvastatin. In the presence of GF120918 (a potent inhibitor of Bcrp) and in the Wistar TR- rat (a naturally occurring mutant not expressing Mrp2) the biliary clearance was reduced and virtually abolished in the TR- pre-incubated GF120918. Bcrp and Mrp2 appear to represent the primary efflux mechanisms for rosuvastatin in the rat. Rosuvastatin disposition in the IPRL is mediated in part by Oatp1a1 and efflux is almost entirely by Mrp2 and Bcrp. Other uptake processes may be involved.

MeSH terms

  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters / antagonists & inhibitors
  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters / metabolism*
  • Acridines / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Fluorobenzenes / pharmacokinetics*
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / pharmacokinetics*
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Organic Anion Transporters / metabolism*
  • Pyrimidines / pharmacokinetics*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Rosuvastatin Calcium
  • Sulfonamides / pharmacokinetics*
  • Tetrahydroisoquinolines / pharmacology


  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters
  • Acridines
  • Fluorobenzenes
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • Organic Anion Transporters
  • Pyrimidines
  • Sulfonamides
  • Tetrahydroisoquinolines
  • Rosuvastatin Calcium
  • Elacridar