Functional Expression of Multidrug Resistance P-Glycoprotein in Cellular Models of Physiological Barriers

  • Delphine Lechardeur
  • Pierre Wils
  • Bertrand Schwartz
  • Daniel Scherman
Part of the Advances in Behavioral Biology book series (ABBI, volume 46)


The P-glycoprotein mdr (P-gp) is expressed not only in tumoral cells, but also in several non-transformed cells, specially in the apical plasma membrane of the intestinal, kidney or hepatic epithelium or of the blood-brain barrier endothelial cells. This apical localization is thought to be responsible for the net flux of hydrophobic compounds toward the intestinal lumen or from the brain to the blood, reflecting the protective role of P-gp at the epithelial and endothelial barriers. Many efforts are presently spent by several groups for the obtention of cellular models of intestinal epithelium or of the blood-brain barrier, in order to determine drug absorption by a predictive in vitro assay.

We have observed the functional expression of the mdr P-glycoprotein in the human intestinal epithelial cell line, Caco-2. On confluent monolayers in dual culture chambers, the expression of P-gp was apical, leading to a polarized basal-to-apical transport of P-gp substrates such as vinblastine, taxotere and pristinamycine I-A. Moreover, we have studied the P-gp expression in confluent monolayers of primary cultures of rat and bovine brain capillary endothelial cells. On the contrary of other specific cerebral endothelial cell markers such as gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase, the P-gp espression is maintained and functional in primary cultures of bovine cerebral endothelial cells. P-gp expression could also be induced in rat brain capillary endothelial cell line immortalized by chromosomal insertion of the SV 40 T gene controlled by the human vimentin promoter.


Capillary Endothelial Cell Brain Penetration Brain Capillary Endothelial Cell Cerebral Endothelial Cell Human Colon Carcinoma Cell Line 
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La P-glycoprotéine de résistance multidrogue (P-gp) n’est pas seulement exprimée dans certaines cellules tumorales mais aussi au niveau de nombreuses cellules normales telles que la membrane apicale des cellules épithéliales de l’intestin, du rein ou du foie ou des cellules endothéliales de la barrière hémato-encéphalique. L’expression polarisée de la P-gp serait responsable du flux net de nombreuses molécules lipophiles de l’épithélium intestinal vers la lumière intestinale ou des cellules endothéliales de la BHE vers le sang ce qui reflèterait un rôle physiologique de protection pour la P-gp contre les xénobiotiques au niveau des barrières cellulaires formées par les épithéliums et les endothéliums. Le développement de modèles cellulaire permettant la prédiction in vitro de lapénétration intestinale ou cérébrale de molécules à visée thérapeutique est en pleine expansion. Le rôle protecteur de la P-gp au niveau des barrières physiologiques montre que de tels modèles ne peuvent être validés que si la P-gp y est exprimée de façon fonctionnelle et polarisée. Nous avons étudié l’expression fonctionnelle de la P-gp dans la lignée cellulaire d’épithélium intestinal humain. la lignée Caco-2. Cultivées sur des supports poreux dans dans des inserts de culture, les cellules Caco-2 à confluence expriment la P-gp au niveau apical ainsi que le montre le transport polarisé de la membrane basale vers la membrane apicale de substrats de la P-gp tels que la vinblastine, le taxotère ou la pristinamycine 1A. De plus, nous avons aussi étudié l’expression de la P-gp dans des cultures primaires de cellules endothéliales de capillaires cérébraux de rat er de boeuf. A la différence d’autres marqueurs spécifiques de la BHE tels que la gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase, l’expression de la P-gp est maintenue et fonctionnelle dans les cultures d’origine bovine. L’expression de la P-gp a pu aussi être induite dans une lignée de cellules endothéliales cérébrales de rat immortalisée par insertion chromosomique du gene T de SV 40 sous contrôle du promoteur humain de la vimentine.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Delphine Lechardeur
    • 1
  • Pierre Wils
    • 1
  • Bertrand Schwartz
    • 1
  • Daniel Scherman
    • 1
  1. 1.UMR 133 CNRS/Rhône-Poulenc RorerCentre de Recherche de Vitry-AlfortvilleVitry/SeineFrance

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