Original Article

Potential role of organic anion transporting polypeptide 1B1 (OATP1B1) in the selective hepatic uptake of hematoporphyrin monomethyl ether isomers

Xiu-li LI, Zi-tao GUO, Ye-dong WANG, Xiao-yan CHEN, Jia LIU, Da-fang ZHONG
DOI: 10.1038/aps.2014.104


Aim: Hematoporphyrin monomethyl ether (HMME), which consists of equal amounts of isomers HMME-1 and HMME-2, is a novel porphyrin-related drug for photodynamic therapy. This study was aimed to investigate the uptake transporter-mediated selective uptake of HMME into the liver and to identify the major uptake transporter isoforms involved.
Methods: Adult SD rats were intravenously injected with a single dose of HMME (5 mg/kg) with or without rifampicin (an inhibitor of organic anion transporting polypeptides OATP1B1 and OATP1B3, 25 mg/kg). Blood samples were collected, and HMME concentrations were measured using LC-MS/MS. Rat hepatocytes, human hepatocytes and HEK293 cells expressing OATP1B1, OATP1B3, or OATP2B1 were used to investigate the uptake of HMME or individual isomers in vitro.
Results: Co-administration of rifampicin significantly increased the exposure of HMME isomers, and decreased the AUC ratio of HMME-1 to HMME-2 from 1.98 to 1.56. The uptake of HMME-2 into human hepatocytes and the HEK293 cells expressing OATP1B1 or OATP2B1 in vitro was 2–7 times greater than that of HMME-1, whereas OATP1B3 mediated a higher HMME-1 uptake. OATP1B1 exhibited a higher affinity for HMME-2 than for HMME-1 (the Km values were 0.63 and 5.61 μmol/L, respectively), which were similar to those in human hepatocytes. By using telmisartan (a non-specific OATP inhibitor) and rifampicin, OATP2B1 was demonstrated to account for <20% of hepatic HMME uptake.
Conclusion: OATP1B1 is the major transporter involved in the rapid hepatic uptake of HMME, and the greater uptake of HMME-2 by OATP1B1 may lead to a lower exposure of HMME-2 than HMME-1 in humans.
Keywords: hematoporphyrin monomethyl ether; photodynamic therapy; OATP transporter; hepatic uptake; pharmacokinetics

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