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Determination of thalidomide in transport buffer for Caco-2 cell monolayers by high-performance liquid chromatography with ultraviolet detection.

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  • 1Division of Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacology, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, the University of Auckland, 85 Park Road, Grafton Private Bag 92019, New Zealand.


We report simple validated HPLC methods for the determination of thalidomide in the transport buffer for the human colonic cell line (Caco-2) cell monolayers. An aliquot of 50 microl of the mixture was injected onto a Spherex C(18) column (150 x 4.6 mm; 5 microm) at a flow-rate of 0.5 ml/min of mobile phase consisting of acetonitrile-10 mM ammonium acetate buffer (24:76, v/v, pH 5.5), and thalidomide was detected by ultraviolet detector at a wavelength of 220 nm. Calibration curves for thalidomide were constructed at the concentration range of 0.025-1.0 and 1.0-50 microM in transport buffer. The validated methods were used to determine the transport of thalidomide by Caco-2 monolayers. The transport across the monolayers from the apical (A) to basolateral (B) side was similar to that from B to A side. The apparent permeability coefficient (P(app)) values of thalidomide at 10-300 microM from the A to B and from B to A side was 2-6 x 10(-5) cm/s, with a marked decrease in P(app) values from A to B side at increased thalidomide concentration. The A to B transport appears to be dependent on temperature and sodium ion. Sodium azide, 2,4-dinitrophenol (both ATP inhibitors), 5-fluorouracil, cytidine and glutamic acid significantly inhibited the transport of thalidomide. These results indicate that the transport of thalidomide by Caco-2 monolayers was rapid, which might involve an energy-dependent mechanism.

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