Original Article

Isomer-selective distribution of 3-n-butylphthalide (NBP) hydroxylated metabolites, 3-hydroxy-NBP and 10-hydroxy-NBP, across the rat blood-brain barrier

Xing-xing DIAO, Kan ZHONG, Xiu-li LI, Da-fang ZHONG, Xiao-yan CHEN
DOI: 10.1038/aps.2015.64


Aim: To investigate the mechanisms underlying the isomer-selective distribution of 3-n-butylphthalide (NBP) hydroxylated metabolites, 3-hydroxy-NBP (3-OH-NBP) and 10-hydroxy-NBP (10-OH-NBP), across the blood brain barrier (BBB).
Methods: After oral administration of NBP (20 mg/kg) to rats, the pharmacokinetics of two major hydroxylated metabolites, 3-OH-NBP and 10-OH-NBP, in plasma and brains were investigated. Plasma and brain protein binding of 3-OH-NBP and 10-OH-NBP was also assessed. To evaluate the influences of major efflux transporters, rats were pretreated with the P-gp inhibitor tariquidar (10 mg/kg, iv) and BCRP inhibitor pantoprazole (40 mg/kg, iv), then received 3-OH-NBP (12 mg/kg, iv) or 10-OH-NBP (3 mg/kg, iv). The metabolic profile of NBP was investigated in rat brain homogenate.
Results: After NBP administration, the plasma exposure of 3-OH-NBP was 4.64 times that of 10-OH-NBP, whereas the brain exposure of 3-OH-NBP was only 11.8% of 10-OH-NBP. In the rat plasma, 60%±5.2% of 10-OH-NBP was unbound to proteins versus only 22%±2.3% of 3-OH-NBP being unbound, whereas in the rat brain, free fractions of 3-OH-NBP and 10-OH-NBP were 100%±9.7% and 49.9%±14.1%, respectively. In the rats pretreated with tariquidar and pantoprazole, the unbound partition coefficient Kp,uu of 3-OH-NBP was significantly increased, while that of 10-OH-NBP showed a slight but not statistically significant increase. Incubation of rat brain homogenate with NBP yielded 3-OH-NBP but not 10-OH-NBP.
Conclusion: The isomer-selective distribution of 10-OH-NBP and 3-OH-NBP across the BBB of rats is mainly attributed to the differences in plasma and brain protein binding and the efflux transport of 3-OH-NBP. The abundant 10-OH-NBP is not generated in rat brains.
Keywords: 3-n-butylphthalide (NBP); 3-OH-NBP; 10-OH-NBP; blood-brain barrier; isomer-selective; drug plasma protein binding; drug brain protein binding; P-gp/BCRP; cerebral ischemia

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