Transport of Thalidomide by the Human Intestinal Caco-2 Monolayers

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thalidomide, intestinal, permeability, Caco-2

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Studies in patients have indicated that the oral absorption of thalidomide is considerably variable at high doses ( > 200 mg/day). The aim of this study was to investigate the transport of racemic thalidomide using human colon cancer cell line (Caco-2) monolayers, which have been widely used to investigate drug permeability. A typical 21-day protocol was used to prepare Caco-2 monolayers. Thalidomide was determined by a validated high performance liquid chromatography method with ultraviolet detection. The integrity of Caco-2 monolayer was confirmed when the transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) exceeded 300 Ω · cm2, and the leakage of14C-manitol was < 1% per hour. Uptake of thalidomide by Caco-2 cells was very limited (up to 2.1%). The transport of thalidomide appeared to be linear up to 1 hr. Our study indicated that the permeability coefficients (Papp) of thalidomide at 2.5–300 μM from the apical (AP) to basolateral (BL) and from BL to AP side was 2–6 × 10−5 cm/sec, with a marked decrease in (Papp) values from AP to BL at increased thalidomide concentration. The transport of thalidomide was sodium-, temperature- and pH-dependent, as replacement of extracellular sodium chloride or reducing temperature and apical pH can result in significant decreases in thePapp values. Additional data indicated that transport of thalidomide is energy-dependent, as it was significantly (P < 0.05) inhibited by the ATP inhibitors, sodium azide and 2,4-dinitrophenol. In addition, DL-glutamic acid, cytidine, diprodomole, papaverine, quinidine, and cyclophosphamide significantly (P < 0.05) inhibited the transport of thalidomide, while the P-glycoprotein inhibitor verapamil and other nucleosides and nucleotides such as thymidine and guanine had no effect. These results indicated that thalidomide was rapidly transported by Caco-2 monolayers, and this might involve a saturable energy-dependent transporter.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

European Journal of Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics, v. 30, issues 1-2, p. 49-61