09/06/2011 - Role of transporters in drug ADME

Calcein assay: a high-throughput method to assess P-gp inhibition

Glavinas H, von Richter O, Vojnits K, Mehn D, Wilhelm I, Nagy T, Janossy J, Krizbai I, Couraud P, Krajcsi P. Xenobiotica. 2011 Aug;41(8):712-9. Epub 2011 Jun 9.


Transporter mediated drug-drug interactions (tDDI) mediated by ABCB1 have been shown to be clinically relevant. Hence, the assessment of the ABCB1 tDDI potential early in the drug development process has gained interest. We have evaluated the Calcein assay as a means of assessing the ABCB1 tDDI that is amenable to high throughout and compared it with the monolayer efflux assay. We found the Calcein assay, when performed in K562MDR cells using the protocol originally published more sensitive than digoxin transport inhibition in MDCKII-MDR1 cells. Application of the Calcein assay to cell lines containing different amounts of ABCB1, yielded IC(50) values that varied 10-100-fold. The differences observed for IC(50) values for the same compounds were in the following rank order: IC(50, MDCKII-MDR1) >IC(50, K562MDR)>IC(50, hCMEC/D3). Higher IC(50) values were obtained in cells with higher ABCB1 expression. The Calcein assay is a high-throughput alternative to digoxin transport inhibition as it appears to have a comparable selectivity but higher sensitivity than previously published digoxin transport inhibition in MDCKII-MDR1 cells. In addition, it can be performed in a barrier-specific manner highlighting the dependence of ABCB1 IC(50) values on different ABCB1 expression levels.

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