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J Perinatol. 2001 Dec;21 Suppl 1:S43-7; discussion S59-62.

P-glycoprotein and bilirubin disposition.

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Division of Neonatology and Developmental Biology, Department of Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Magee-Womens Research Institute, 300 Halket Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.


P-glycoprotein (Pgp), an ATP-dependent plasma membrane efflux pump, is expressed in abundance on the luminal aspect of brain capillary endothelial cells and astrocytes of the blood-brain barrier where it limits the passage of a variety of lipophilic substrates into the central nervous system. This review summarizes current evidence characterizing (1) unconjugated bilirubin as a potential substrate for Pgp and (2) the ontogeny of Pgp expression at the blood-brain barrier and apical brush border epithelium of the gastrointestinal tract, findings that may provide insights regarding the disposition of bilirubin in immature subjects.

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