Objectives: We aimed to characterize the efflux transport properties of vardenafil and sildenafil, and to compare the kinetics of these compounds via efflux transporters such as P-gp, BCRP and MRP2.
Methods: We measured the basal-to-apical and apical-to-basal transport of vardenafil and sildenafil within the concentration range of 1-100 µm using MDCKII cells overexpressing P-gp, BCRP and MRP2, and Caco-2 cells.
Key findings: Vardenafil had a much greater basal-to-apical than apical-to-basal transport rate in MDCKII cells overexpressing P-gp, BCRP and MRP2. Sildenafil showed P-gp- and BCRP-mediated efflux transport, but did not seem to be pumped out via MRP2 transporters. Consequently, the absorptive transport of vardenafil and sildenafil in Caco-2 cells increased linearly over the concentration range of 1-100 µm, whereas the secretory transport of these drugs was saturable and inhibited by the presence of specific inhibitors of P-gp and BCRP. MK571, a representative MRP2 inhibitor, inhibited the basal-to-apical transport of vardenafil, but not of sildenafil.
Conclusion: The involvement of P-gp, BCRP and MRP2 for vardenafil and the involvement of P-gp and BCRP for sildenafil in the secretory transport with linear absorptive transport may contribute to the limited intestinal absorption of these drugs.
© 2012 The Authors. JPP © 2012 Royal Pharmaceutical Society.