Currently available HIV-1 protease inhibitors are potent agents in the therapy of HIV-1 infection. However, limited oral absorption and variable tissue distribution, both of which are largely unexplained, complicate their use. We tested the hypothesis that P-glycoprotein is an important transporter for these agents. We studied the vectorial transport characteristics of indinavir, nelfinavir, and saquinavir in vitro using the model P-glycoprotein expressing cell lines L-MDR1 and Caco-2 cells, and in vivo after intravenous and oral administration of these agents to mice with a disrupted mdr1a gene. All three compounds were found to be transported by P-glycoprotein in vitro. After oral administration, plasma concentrations were elevated 2-5-fold in mdr1a (-/-) mice and with intravenous administration, brain concentrations were elevated 7-36-fold. These data demonstrate that P-glycoprotein limits the oral bioavailability and penetration of these agents into the brain. This raises the possibility that higher HIV-1 protease inhibitor concentrations may be obtained by targeted pharmacologic inhibition of P-glycoprotein transport activity.
R B Kim, M F Fromm, C Wandel, B Leake, A J Wood, D M Roden, G R Wilkinson
The Editorial Board will only consider comments that are deemed relevant and of interest to readers. The Journal will not post data that have not been subjected to peer review; or a comment that is essentially a reiteration of another comment.