A proper understanding of P-gp mediated transport (functionality) at the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and beyond is needed to interpret, understand and predict pharmacokinetic (PK)- pharmacodynamic (PD) relationships of CNS drugs that are substrates of P-gp, especially since P-gp functionality may be different in different conditions. Often, P-gp expression is taken as a biomarker of transporter functionality. The aim of our study was to investigate whether brain capillary protein expression of P-gp is associated with changes in P-gp mediated drug efflux at the BBB. Status Epilepticus (SE) was induced by kainate in male rats. During 3–5 weeks post SE, hippocampal P-gp expression was determined using immunohistochemistry, while BBB P-gp functionality was assessed by microdialysis of quinidine, in absence and presence of the P-gp blocker tariquidar. The data were analyzed using Non-linear Mixed Effect Modeling implemented in NONMEM. Following SE, changes in brain capillary P-gp expression were observed. However, no relation between BBB P-gp protein expression and BBB P-gp mediated drug efflux was found. This warrants a critical view on the interpretation of reported changes in BBB P-gp expression as a biomarker of BBB P-gp functionality.
De Lange, E. C. M., vd Berg, D. J., Bellanti, F., Voskuyl, R. A., & Syvänen, S. (2018). P-glycoprotein protein expression versus functionality at the blood-brain barrier using immunohistochemistry, microdialysis and mathematical modeling. European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 124, 61–70. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejps.2018.08.022