PloS one

P-glycoprotein mediated efflux limits the transport of the novel anti-Parkinson's disease candidate drug FLZ across the physiological and PD pathological in vitro BBB models.

PMID 25036090


FLZ, a novel anti-Parkinson's disease (PD) candidate drug, has shown poor blood-brain barrier (BBB) penetration based on the pharmacokinetic study using rat brain. P-glycoprotein (P-gp) and breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP) are two important transporters obstructing substrates entry into the CNS as well as in relation to PD neuropathology. However, it is unclear whether P-gp and BCRP are involved in low BBB permeability of FLZ and what the differences of FLZ brain penetration are between normal and Parkinson's conditions. For this purpose, in vitro BBB models mimicking physiological and PD pathological-related BBB properties were constructed by C6 astroglial cells co-cultured with primary normal or PD rat cerebral microvessel endothelial cells (rCMECs) and in vitro permeability experiments of FLZ were carried out. High transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) and low permeability for sodium fluorescein (NaF) confirmed the BBB functionality of the two models. Significantly greater expressions of P-gp and BCRP were detected in PD rCMECs associated with the lower in vitro BBB permeability of FLZ in pathological BBB model compared with physiological model. In transport studies only P-gp blocker effectively inhibited the efflux of FLZ, which was consistent with the in vivo permeability data. This result was also confirmed by ATPase assays, suggesting FLZ is a substrate for P-gp but not BCRP. The present study first established in vitro BBB models reproducing PD-related changes of BBB functions in vivo and demonstrated that poor brain penetration of FLZ and low BBB permeability were due to the P-gp transport.