Involvement of P-glycoprotein and Multidrug Resistance Associated Protein 1 in the Transport of Tanshinone IIB, a Primary Active Diterpenoid Quinone from the Roots of Salvia miltiorrhiza, Across the Blood-Brain Barrier
Tanshinone IIB (TSB) is a major constituent of Salvia miltiorrhiza, which is widely used in treatment of cardiovascular and central nervous system (CNS) diseases such as coronary heart disease and stroke. This study aimed to investigate the role of various drug transporters in the brain penetration of TSB using several in vitro and in vivo mouse and rat models. The uptake and efflux of TSB in rat primary microvascular endothelial cells (RBMVECs) were ATPdependent and significantly altered in the presence of a P-glycoprotein (P-gp) or multidrug resistance associated protein (Mrp1/2) inhibitor. A polarized transport of TSB was found in RBMVEC monolayers with facilitated efflux from the abluminal to luminal side. Addition of a P-gp inhibitor (e.g. verapamil) in both abluminal and luminal sides attenuated the polarized transport. In an in situ rat brain perfusion model, TSB crossed the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and bloodcerebrospinal fluid barrier at a greater rate than that for sucrose, and the brain penetration was increased in the presence of a P-gp or Mrp1/2 inhibitor. The brain levels of TSB were only about 30% of that in the plasma and it could be increased to up to 72% of plasma levels when verapamil, quinidine, or probenecid was co-administered in rats. The entry of TSB to CNS increased by 67-97% in rats subjected to middle cerebral artery occlusion or treatment with the neurotoxin, quinolinic acid, compared to normal rats. Furthermore, The brain levels of TSB in mdr1a(-/-) and mrp1(-/-) mice were 28- to 2.6-fold higher than those in the wild-type mice. TSB has limited brain penetration through the BBB due to the contribution of P-gp and to a lesser extent of Mrp1 in rodents. Further studies are needed to confirm whether these corresponding transporters in humans are involved in limiting the penetration of TSB across the BBB and the clinical relevance.
Keywords: Tanshinone IIB, P-glycoprotein, multi-drug resistance associated protein, blood-brain barrier, mouse, rat
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