Background: Targeting drug delivery to invasive glioma cells is a particularly difficult challenge because these cells lie behind an intact blood-brain barrier (BBB) that can be observed using multimodality imaging. BBB-associated efflux transporters such as P-glycoprotein (P-gp) and breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP) influence drug distribution to these cells and may negatively impact efficacy. To test the hypothesis that efflux transporters influence brain pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics of molecularly targeted agents in glioma treatment, we assessed region-specific penetrance and molecular-targeting capacity for a PI3K/mTOR kinase inhibitor that has high substrate affinity for efflux transporters (GDC-0980) and an analog (GNE-317) that was purposely designed to have reduced efflux.
Methods: Brain tumor penetrance of GDC-0980 and GNE-317 was compared between FVB/n wild-type mice and Mdr1a/b(-/-)Bcrp(-/-) triple-knockout mice lacking P-gp and BCRP. C57B6/J mice bearing intracranial GL261 tumors were treated with GDC-0980, GNE-317, or vehicle to assess the targeted pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic effects in a glioblastoma model.
Results: Animals treated with GNE-317 demonstrated 3-fold greater penetrance in tumor core, rim, and normal brain compared with animals dosed with GDC-0980. Increased brain penetrance correlated with decreased staining of activated p-Akt, p-S6, and p-4EBP1 effector proteins downstream of PI3K and mTOR.
Conclusions: GDC-0980 is subject to active efflux by P-gp and BCRP at the BBB, while brain penetrance of GNE-317 is independent of efflux, which translates into enhanced inhibition of PI3K/mTOR signaling. These data show that BBB efflux by P-gp and BCRP is therefore an important determinant in both brain penetrance and molecular targeting efficacy in the treatment of invasive glioma cells.
Keywords: blood-brain barrier; brain tumors; efflux transport; molecularly targeted agents; p-glycoprotein.
© The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Neuro-Oncology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: email@example.com.