Membrane-associated drug transport proteins and drug metabolic enzymes could regulate intracellular antiretroviral (ARV) drug concentrations in HIV-1 target cells such as myeloid cells. We investigated the expression of these transporters and enzymes in monocyte subsets and monocyte-derived macrophages (MDMs) isolated from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of HIV-uninfected individuals (HIV-negative) and people living with HIV receiving viral suppressive antiretroviral therapy (ART; HIV+ART) and examined plasma and intracellular ARV concentrations. Monocytes were isolated from PBMCs of 12 HIV-negative and 12 HIV+ART donors and differentiated into MDMs. The mRNA and protein expression of drug transporters and metabolic enzymes were analyzed by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and flow cytometry, respectively. ARV drug concentrations were quantified in plasma, PBMCs, monocytes, and MDMs by LC-MS/MS. The mRNA expression of relevant ARV transporters or metabolic enzymes, ABCB1/P-gp, ABCG2/BCRP, ABCC1/MRP1, ABCC4/MRP4, SLC22A1/OCT1, SLC29A2/ENT2, CYP2B6, CYP2D6, and UGT1A1, was demonstrated in monocytes and MDMs of 2 to 4 HIV-negative donors. P-gp, BCRP, and MRP1 proteins were differentially expressed in classical, intermediate, and nonclassical monocytes and MDMs of both HIV+ART and HIV-negative donors. Intracellular concentrations of ARVs known to be substrates of these transporters and metabolic enzymes were detected in monocytes of HIV+ART donors but were undetectable in MDMs. In this study, we demonstrated the expression of drug transporters and metabolic enzymes in monocytes and MDMs of HIV-negative and HIV+ART individuals, which could potentially limit intracellular concentrations of ARVs and contribute to residual HIV replication. Further work is needed to assess the role of these transporters in the penetration of ARVs in tissue macrophages.
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