Original Article

Intestinal absorption of forsythoside A in in situ single-pass intestinal perfusion and in vitro Caco-2 cell models

Authors: Wei Zhou, Liu-qing Di, Juan Wang, Jin-jun Shan, Shi-jia Liu, Wen-zheng Ju, Bao-chang Cai
DOI: 10.1038/aps.2012.58


Aim: To investigate the mechanisms underlying the intestinal absorption of the major bioactive component forsythoside A (FTA) extracted from Forsythiae fructus.
Methods: An in vitroCaco-2 cell model and a single-pass intestinal perfusion in situ model in SD rats were used.
Results: In the in vitroCaco-2 cell model, the mean apparent permeability value (Papp-value) was 4.15×10-7 cm/s in the apical-to-basolateral (AP-BL) direction. At the concentrations of 2.6–10.4 μg/mL, the efflux ratio of FTA in the bi-directional transport experiments was approximately 1.00. After the transport, >96% of the apically loaded FTA was retained on the apical side, while >97% of the basolaterally loaded FTA was retained on the basolateral side. The Papp-values of FTA were inversely correlated with the transepithelial electrical resistance. The paracellular permeability enhancers sodium caprate and EDTA, the P-gp inhibitor verapamil and the multidrug resistance related protein (MRP) inhibitors cyclosporine and MK571 could concentration-dependently increase the Papp-values, while the uptake (OATP) transporter inhibitors diclofenac sodium and indomethacin could concentration-dependently decrease the Papp-values. The intake transporter SGLT1 inhibitor mannitol did not cause significant change in the Papp-values. In the in situ intestinal perfusion model, both the absorption rate constant (Ka) and the effective permeability (Peff-values) following perfusion of FTA 2.6, 5.2 and 10.4 μg/mL via the duodenum, jejunum and ileum had no significant difference, although the values were slightly higher for the duodenum as compared to those in the jejunum and ileum. The low, medium and high concentrations of verapamil caused the largest increase in the Peff-values for duodenum, jejunum and ileum, respectively. Sodium caprate, EDTA and cyclosporine resulted in concentration-dependent increase in the Peff-values. Diclofenac sodium and indomethacin caused concentration-dependent decrease in the Peff-values. Mannitol did not cause significant change in the Papp-values for the duodenum, jejunum or ileum.
Conclusion: The results suggest that the intestinal absorption of FTA may occur through passive diffusion, and the predominant absorption site may be in the upper part of small intestine. Paracellular transport route is also involved. P-gp, MRPs and OATP may participate in the absorption of FTA in the intestine. The low permeability of FTA contributes to its low oral bioavailability.

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