Purpose: Previously, we found that the biliary excretion of the 6-hydroxy-5,7-dimethyl-2-methylamino-4-(3-pyridylmethyl) benzothiazole (E3040) glucuronide is severely impaired in Eisai hyperbilirubinemic rats (EHBR), while that of sulfate remains normal (Takenaka et al., J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther., 274: 1362-1369, 1995). The purpose of the present study is to clarify the mechanisms for impairment of the biliary excretion of E3040 glucuronide in EHBR.
Methods: We kinetically analyzed the disposition of the conjugates in the perfused liver at steady state. The uptake of the conjugates into the isolated canalicular membrane vesicles (CMVs) was also examined.
Results: At steady state, the bile/liver unbound concentration ratios of the conjugates were 40-400 in both rat strains, indicating a highly concentrated process. The biliary excretion clearance (CLu,bile) of the glucuronide, defined for the unbound concentration in the liver, was decreased in EHBR to 1/30 of that in normal rats, whereas the CLu,bile of the sulfate was comparable between the two rat strains. In vitro, the transport of E3040 glucuronide into CMV prepared from SD rats exhibited the ATP dependency, whereas minimal effect of ATP was observed on the uptake of the glucuronide into CMV from EHBR. In contrast, the uptake of E3040 sulfate was comparable between SD rats and EHBR. Furthermore, ATP did not stimulate the uptake of sulfate into the CMVs.
Conclusions: It was suggested (1) that the excretion of E3040 glucuronide across the bile canalicular membrane is mediated by the primary active transporter which is defective in EHBR and (2) that the bile canalicular transport system for E3040 sulfate is different from that for the glucuronide in that the former remains normal in EHBR.