MDR1-encoded P-glycoprotein (P-gp) is a drug efflux transporter mainly expressed in liver, kidney, intestine, brain (at the level of the blood-brain barrier), and placenta. It thus plays important roles in drug absorption, distribution, and excretion, Cetirizine is a second-generation nonsedating antihistamine used to treat allergic disease of respiratory system, skin and eyes. To evaluate P-gp expression and function in Caco-2 cells pretreated with cetirizine enantiomers, we assessed the sensitivity of Caco-2 cells to paclitaxel using the MTT assay and the polarized transport of rhodamine-123 and doxorubicin across Caco-2 monolayers. RT-PCR and flow cytometry were used to assay MDR1 mRNA and P-gp protein respectively. The sensitivity of Caco-2 cells to paclitaxel decreased significantly after cells were pretreated with 100 μM R-cetirizine but increased upon treatment with S-cetirizine. The efflux of rhodamine-123 and doxorubicin was enhanced significantly after Caco-2 monolayers were pretreated with 100 μM R-cetirizine but was reduced by S-cetirizine. The MDR1 mRNA and P-gp levels in Caco-2 cells were increased by 100 μM R-cetirizine and decreased by 100 μM S-cetirizine. These results suggest that R-cetirizine up-regulates MDR1 expression while S-cetirizine down-regulates MDR1 expression.
- Caco-2 cells
- Drug-drug interaction