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J Psychopharmacol. 2007 Sep;21(7):751-6. Epub 2007 Jan 26.

Placental transfer of quetiapine in relation to P-glycoprotein activity.

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Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacology, Joint Clinical Biochemistry Laboratory of University of Turku, Turku University Central Hospital, Turku, Finland.


Atypical antipsychotic drugs are well tolerated and thus often preferred in women of fertile age; yet the information on their placental transfer and use during the prenatal period is limited. The aim of this study was to study the placental transfer of quetiapine, a widely used atypical antipsychotic, with special reference to the role of the placental transporter protein, P-glycoprotein (P-gp). This was performed in 18 dually perfused placentas, using the well established P-gp inhibitors PSC833 (valspodar) and GG918 to inhibit the function of P-gp. We also aimed to clarify the significance of two potentially functional ABCB1 single nuclear polymorphisms (SNPs), 2677G>T/A and 3435C>T, on the transplacental transfer (TPT) of quetiapine. The placental transfer of quetiapine in the control group as measured by TPT(AUC) % (absolute fraction of the dose crossing placenta) was 3.7%, which is 29% less than the transfer of the freely diffusible antipyrine, which was 5.2%. The P-gp inhibitors had no significant effect on the transfer of quetiapine as measured by TPT(AUC) % (P = 0.77). No correlation was found between the transplacental transfer of quetiapine (TPT(AUC) %) and placental P-gp expression (P = 0.61). The 3435T allele in exon 26 was associated with significantly higher placental transfer of quetiapine (P = 0.04). We conclude that quetiapine passes the human placenta but that the blood-placental barrier partially limits the transplacental transfer of quetiapine. Administration of P-gp inhibiting drugs with quetiapine is not likely to increase fetal exposure to quetiapine, although the ABCB1 C3435T polymorphism may contribute to inter-individual variation in fetal exposure to quetiapine.

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