High impact of Oatp1a/1b transporters on in vivo disposition of the hydrophobic anticancer drug paclitaxel.



In spite of its hydrophobicity, PTX systemic exposure (at 10 mg/kg) was increased by greater than 2-fold in Slco1a/1b(-/-) mice compared with wild-type, whereas PTX liver uptake was reduced by about 2-fold. Oatp1a/1b transporters displayed a high impact on PTX and MTX pharmacokinetics over a broad dose range. For MTX, even at 500 mg/kg, saturation of Oatp1a/1b was not observed, with a 3.4-fold increase in plasma and 30-fold decrease in liver levels in Slco1a/1b(-/-) mice compared with wild-type. Although beginning saturation of Oatp1a/1b was observed at the highest dose of PTX, plasma levels in Slco1a/1b(-/-) mice were still 1.7-fold increased and liver levels 1.5-fold decreased compared with wild-type.


Recently generated Slco1a/1b(-/-) (lacking all Oatp1a/1b transporters) and wild-type mice were intravenously dosed with 2, 10, or 50 mg/kg of PTX, or with 10, 50, or 500 mg/kg of MTX, and plasma and tissue drug concentrations were measured.


Organic anion-transporting polypeptides (OATP) mediate the cellular uptake of a broad range of drugs. The hydrophobic anticancer drug, paclitaxel (PTX), was recently identified as a substrate for OATP1B3 in vitro. We investigated the role of Oatp1a/1b transporters in the pharmacokinetics of PTX in vivo, as well as their impact at different dose levels of PTX and methotrexate (MTX).


Oatp1a/1b transporters play a pronounced role in determining plasma levels and tissue distribution of MTX and PTX, thus affecting even highly hydrophobic drugs. Variation in OATP1A/1B transporter activity, due to genetic variation, inhibition, and/or tumor expression might affect toxicity and therapeutic efficacy of these anticancer drugs.

More about this publication

Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research
  • Volume 17
  • Issue nr. 2
  • Pages 294-301
  • Publication date 15-01-2011

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