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Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2005 Feb;288(2):G327-36. Epub 2004 Sep 16.

Role of microtubules in estradiol-17beta-D-glucuronide-induced alteration of canalicular Mrp2 localization and activity.

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  • 1Graduate Center for Toxicology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40536-0305, USA.


Estradiol-17beta-D-glucuronide (E2-17G) induces a marked but reversible inhibition of bile flow in the rat together with endocytic retrieval of multidrug resistance-associated protein 2 (Mrp2) from the canalicular membrane to intracellular structures. We analyzed the effect of pretreatment (100 min) with the microtubule inhibitor colchicine or lumicholchicine, its inactive isomer (1 micromol/kg iv), on changes in bile flow and localization and function of Mrp2 induced by E2-17G (15 micromol/kg iv). Bile flow and biliary excretion of bilirubin, an endogenous Mrp2 substrate, were measured throughout, whereas Mrp2 localization was examined at 20 and 120 min after E2-17G by confocal immunofluorescence microscopy and Western analysis. Colchicine pretreatment alone did not affect bile flow or Mrp2 localization and activity over the short time scale examined (3-4 h). Administration of E2-17G to colchicine-pretreated rats induced a marked decrease (85%) in bile flow and biliary excretion of bilirubin as well as internalization of Mrp2 at 20 min. These alterations were of a similar magnitude as in rats pretreated with lumicolchicine followed by E2-17G. Bile flow and Mrp2 localization and activity were restored to control levels within 120 min of E2-17G in animals pretreated with lumicolchicine. In contrast, in colchicine-pretreated rats followed by E2-17G, bile flow and Mrp2 activity remained significantly inhibited by 60%, and confocal and Western studies revealed sustained internalization of Mrp2 120 min after E2-17G. We conclude that recovery from E2-17G cholestasis, associated with exocytic insertion of Mrp2 in the canalicular membrane, but not its initial E2-17G-induced endocytosis, is a microtubule-dependent process.

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