Author(s): Morimoto K, Nakakariya M, Shirasaka Y, Kakinuma C, Fujita T,
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Abstract Oseltamivir (Tamiflu, Roche, Nutley, NJ), an ester-type prodrug of the anti-influenza drug Ro 64-0802 (oseltamivir carboxylate), has been reported to be associated with neuropsychiatric side effects, which are likely to be caused by distribution of oseltamivir and/or its metabolite into the central nervous system. Enhanced toxicity and brain distribution of oseltamivir in unweaned rats led us to hypothesize that the low level of distribution of oseltamivir and/or Ro 64-0802 in adult brain was caused by the presence of a specific efflux transporter at the blood-brain barrier. We examined the possible role of P-glycoprotein (P-gp) as the determinant of brain distribution of oseltamivir and Ro 64-0802 both in vitro using LLC-GA5-COL150 cells, which overexpress human multidrug resistance protein 1 P-gp on the apical membrane, and in vivo using mdr1a/1b knockout mice. The permeability of oseltamivir in the basal-to-apical direction was significantly greater than that in the opposite direction. The directional transport disappeared on addition of cyclosporin A, a P-gp inhibitor. The brain distribution of oseltamivir was increased in mdr1a/1b knockout mice compared with wild-type mice. In contrast, negligible transport of Ro 64-0802 by P-gp was observed in both in vitro and in vivo studies. These results show that oseltamivir, but not Ro 64-0802, is a substrate of P-gp. Accordingly, low levels of P-gp activity or drug-drug interactions at P-gp may lead to enhanced brain accumulation of oseltamivir, and this may in turn account for the central nervous system effects of oseltamivir observed in some patients.
This article was published in Drug Metab Dispos
and referenced in Clinical Microbiology: Open Access