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Purpose. A few studies have shown that normothermic hepatic ischemia-reperfusion (IR) injury may affect the mRNA and/or protein levels of canalicular transporters P-glycoprotein (P-gp) and multidrug resistance-associated protein 2 (Mrp2). However, the effects of the injury on the functions of these canalicular transporters with respect to the biliary excretion of drugs remain largely unknown. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of warm hepatic IR on the hepatobiliary disposition of rhodamine 123 (RH-123), a P-gp substrate, and its glucuronidated metabolite (RH-Glu), an Mrp2 substrate, in rats.

Methods. Twenty four or 72 h following a 60-min partial ischemia or sham operation in rats, livers were isolated and perfused ex vivo with a constant concentration (~100 ng/mL) of RH-123. The concentration of RH-123 and its glucuronidated (RH-Glu) and deacylated (RH-110) metabolites were determined in the outlet perfusate, bile, and the liver tissue using HPLC, and relevant pharmacokinetic parameters were estimated.

Results. Twenty-four-h IR caused a significant reduction in the hepatic extraction ratio of RH-123 (IR: 0.857 ± 0.078; Sham: 0.980 ± 0.017) and the biliary recovery of the parent drug and RH-Glu by 43% and 44%, respectively. The reductions in the biliary recovery were associated with significant reductions in the apparent biliary clearance of RH-123 and RH-Glu. Mass balance data showed that the formation of the glucuronidated or deacylated metabolite was not significantly affected by the 24-h IR injury. In contrast to the 24-h IR, the injury did not have any effect on the hepatobiliary disposition of RH-123 or its metabolites following 72 h of reperfusion.

Conclusions. It is concluded that the pharmacokinetics of drugs that are subject to biliary excretion by the canalicular P-gp and Mrp2 transporters may be altered shortly after hepatic IR injury.


This article was originally published in Journal of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, volume 15, issue 2, in 2012.


Canadian Society for Pharmaceutical Sciences



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