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Drug Metab Dispos. 2006 Mar;34(3):477-82. Epub 2005 Dec 28.

Tissue distribution and ontogeny of organic cation transporters in mice.

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Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Therapeutics, University of Kansas Medical Center, 3901 Rainbow Blvd., Kansas City, KS 66160-7417, USA.


Organic cation transporters (Octs) play an important role in transporting cationic xeno- and endobiotics across biological membranes. Little is known about Octs in mice; therefore, the tissue distribution and developmental changes in the mRNA expression of Octs in mice were quantified. Oct1, Oct2, Oct3, Octn1, Octn2, and Octn3 mRNA expression was quantified in 14 tissues from male and female mice using the branched DNA signal amplification assay. Oct1 mRNA expression was highest in kidney, followed by liver. Oct2 mRNA was almost exclusively expressed in kidney, with male mice having twice that in female mice. The higher expression of Oct2 in male mice is due to testosterone. Oct3 mRNA was most highly expressed in placenta, ovary, and uterus, but was expressed at low levels in most tissues. Octn1 and Octn2 mRNA expression was similar, with the highest levels in kidney followed by small intestine. Octn3 mRNA was almost exclusively expressed in testes. The developmental expression of Oct1, Oct2, Octn1, and Octn2 mRNA in kidneys as well as Oct1 in liver was determined in young mice. Ontogenic expression data indicate that each of the Octs approached adult expression levels by about 3 weeks of age. The gender difference in Oct mRNA expression did not become apparent until day 30 after birth. The differences in tissue distribution of the Octs may play an important role in drug disposition to various tissues. Furthermore, low expression of the Octs in young animals may affect the pharmacokinetic behavior of drugs compared with that in adults.

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