Multiple Efflux Pumps Are Involved in the Transepithelial Transport of Colchicine: Combined Effect of P-Glycoprotein and Multidrug Resistance-Associated Protein 2 Leads to Decreased Intestinal Absorption Throughout the Entire Small Intestine Academic Article uri icon


  • The purpose of this study was to thoroughly characterize the efflux transporters involved in the intestinal permeability of the oral microtubule polymerization inhibitor colchicine and to evaluate the role of these transporters in limiting its oral absorption. The effects of P-glycoprotein (P-gp), multidrug resistance-associated protein 2 (MRP2), and breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP) inhibitors on colchicine bidirectional permeability were studied across Caco-2 cell monolayers, inhibiting one versus multiple transporters simultaneously. Colchicine permeability was then investigated in different regions of the rat small intestine by in situ single-pass perfusion. Correlation with the P-gp/MRP2 expression level throughout different intestinal segments was investigated by immunoblotting. P-gp inhibitors [ N -(4-[2-(1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-6,7-dimethoxy-2-isoquinolinyl)ethyl]-phenyl)-9,10-dihydro-5-methoxy-9-oxo-4-acridine carboxamide (GF120918), verapamil, and quinidine], and MRP2 inhibitors [3-[[3-[2-(7-chloroquinolin-2-yl)vinyl]phenyl]-(2-dimethylcarbamoylethylsulfanyl)methylsulfanyl] propionic acid (MK571), indomethacin, and p -aminohippuric acid ( p -AH)] significantly increased apical (AP)-basolateral (BL) and decreased BL-AP Caco-2 transport in a concentration-dependent manner. No effect was obtained by the BCRP inhibitors fumitremorgin C (FTC) and pantoprazole. P-gp/MRP2 inhibitors combinations greatly reduced colchicine mucosal secretion, including complete abolishment of efflux (GF120918/MK571). Colchicine displayed low (versus metoprolol) and constant permeability along the rat small-intestine. GF120918 significantly increased colchicine permeability in the ileum with no effect in the jejunum, whereas MK571 augmented jejunal permeability without changing the ileal transport. The GF120918/MK571 combination caused an effect similar to that of MK571 alone in the jejunum and to that of GF120918 alone in the ileum. P-gp expression followed a gradient increasing from proximal to distal segments, whereas MRP2 decreased from proximal to distal small intestinal regions. Overall, it was revealed that the combined effect of P-gp and MRP2, but not BCRP, dominates colchicine transepithelial transport, leading to complete coverage of the entire small intestine, and makes the efflux transport dominate the intestinal permeability process.

publication date

  • January 1, 2009