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J Nucl Med. 2011 Mar;52(3):415-23. doi: 10.2967/jnumed.110.079608. Epub 2011 Feb 14.

Transport of selected PET radiotracers by human P-glycoprotein (ABCB1) and breast cancer resistance protein (ABCG2): an in vitro screening.

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CEA, I2BM, Service Hospitalier Frédéric Joliot, Orsay, France.


Radiolabeled compounds used for brain imaging with PET must readily cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) to reach their target. Efflux transporters at the BBB-P-glycoprotein (P-gp) and the breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP)-could limit their uptake by the brain.


We developed and validated an in vitro model using MDCKII cells transfected with human multidrug resistance (MDR1) or BCRP genes and assessed the transport of selected PET ligands by the concentration equilibrium technique. The tested compounds included befloxatone, (R,S)-CGP-12177, clorgyline, R-(-)-deprenyl, diprenorphine, DPA-714, fallypride, flumazenil, 2-fluoro-A-85380, LBT-999, loperamide, p-MPPF, PE2I, Pittsburgh compound B (PIB), (R,S)-PK11195, raclopride, R-(+)-verapamil, and WAY-100635. The assays were performed using the nonradioactive form of each compound (ultraviolet high-performance liquid chromatography analysis) and, when available, the (18)F-labeled analogs (γ-counting).


Befloxatone appeared to be transported solely by BCRP. Loperamide, verapamil, and diprenorphine were the only P-gp substrates. Other ligands were transported by neither P-gp nor BCRP.


The present method can readily be used to screen new-compound transport by P-gp or BCRP, even before any radiolabeling. Compounds that were previously thought to be transported by P-gp in rodents, such as p-MPPF, WAY-100635, and flumazenil, cannot be considered substrates of human P-gp. The impact of BCRP and P-gp at the BBB on the transport of befloxatone and diprenorphine in vivo remains to be evaluated with PET.

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