Rapid regulation of P-glycoprotein at the blood-brain barrier by endothelin-1

Anika M.S. Hartz, Björn Bauer, Gert Fricker, David S. Miller

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142 Scopus citations


The ATP-driven xenobiotic transporter P-glycoprotein is a critical element of the blood-brain barrier. To study regulation of P-glycoprotein function, we measured specific transport [(3′-oxo-4-butenyl-4-methyl-threonine(1), (valine(2)) cyclosporin (PSC833)-sensitive] of the fluorescent cyclosporin A derivative [N-ε(4-nitrobenzofurazan-7-yl)-D-Lys8]-cyclosporin A (NBDL-CSA) into the lumens of isolated rat brain capillaries using confocal microscopy and quantitative image analysis. Luminal NBDL-CSA accumulation was rapidly and reversibly reduced in a concentration-dependent manner by 0.1 to 100 nM endothelin-1 (ET-1). In this concentration range, ET-1 did not affect junctional permeability. The ETB receptor agonist sarafotoxin 6c also reduced transport. An ETB receptor antagonist blocked effects of ET-1 and sarafotoxin 6c; an ETA receptor antagonist was without effect. Consistent with this, immunostaining and Western blotting showed expression of the ETB receptor in brain capillary membranes. NBDL-CSA transport was also reduced by sodium nitroprusside, a NO donor, and by phorbol ester, a protein kinase C (PKC) activator. Inhibition of NO synthase (NOS) or PKC abolished the ET-1 effects. Thus, ET-1, acting through an ETB receptor, NOS, and PKC rapidly and reversibly reduced transport mediated by P-glycoprotein at the blood-brain barrier.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-394
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular Pharmacology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology


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