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Mol Pharmacol. 2013 Nov;84(5):774-86. doi: 10.1124/mol.113.086298. Epub 2013 Sep 9.

Acetaminophen modulates P-glycoprotein functional expression at the blood-brain barrier by a constitutive androstane receptor-dependent mechanism.

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1
Department of Medical Pharmacology, University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson, Arizona.

Abstract

Effective pharmacologic treatment of pain with opioids requires that these drugs attain efficacious concentrations in the central nervous system (CNS). A primary determinant of CNS drug permeation is P-glycoprotein (P-gp), an endogenous blood-brain barrier (BBB) efflux transporter that is involved in brain-to-blood transport of opioid analgesics (i.e., morphine). Recently, the nuclear receptor constitutive androstane receptor (CAR) has been identified as a regulator of P-gp functional expression at the BBB. This is critical to pharmacotherapy of pain/inflammation, as patients are often administered acetaminophen (APAP), a CAR-activating ligand, in conjunction with an opioid. Our objective was to investigate, in vivo, the role of CAR in regulation of P-gp at the BBB. Following APAP treatment, P-gp protein expression was increased up to 1.4-1.6-fold in a concentration-dependent manner. Additionally, APAP increased P-gp transport of BODIPY-verapamil in freshly isolated rat brain capillaries. This APAP-induced increase in P-gp expression and activity was attenuated in the presence of CAR pathway inhibitor okadaic acid or transcriptional inhibitor actinomycin D, suggesting P-gp regulation is CAR-dependent. Furthermore, morphine brain accumulation was enhanced by P-gp inhibitors in APAP-treated animals, suggesting P-gp-mediated transport. A warm-water (50°C) tail-flick assay revealed a significant decrease in morphine analgesia in animals treated with morphine 3 or 6 hours after APAP treatment, as compared with animals treated concurrently. Taken together, our data imply that inclusion of APAP in a pain treatment regimen activates CAR at the BBB and increases P-gp functional expression, a clinically significant drug-drug interaction that modulates opioid analgesic efficacy.

PMID:
24019224
PMCID:
PMC3807077
DOI:
10.1124/mol.113.086298
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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