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Pregnane X Receptor Up-regulation Of P-glycoprotein Expression And Transport Function At The Blood-brain Barrier.

B. Bauer, A. Hartz, G. Fricker, David S. Miller
Published 2004 · Biology, Medicine

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P-glycoprotein, an ATP-driven drug export pump, is a critical, selective component of the blood-brain barrier responsible for the poor penetration of many therapeutic drugs. In liver, ligand-activated, nuclear receptors are transcriptional regulators of drug metabolizing enzymes and drug export pumps, but only one, the pregnane X receptor (PXR in rodents, SXR in humans), regulates p-glycoprotein expression. We report for the first time that PXR is expressed in rat brain capillaries. Moreover, exposing isolated capillaries to the PXR ligands pregnenolone-16alpha-carbonitrile (PCN) and dexamethasone increased p-glycoprotein expression and p-glycoprotein-specific transport of a fluorescent cyclosporine A derivative into capillary lumens. Dosing rats with PCN and dexamethasone increased p-glycoprotein expression in liver plasma membranes and in brain capillaries and up-regulated specific transport in capillaries. This is the first evidence for PXR expression in brain and for regulation by nuclear receptors of a xenobiotic export pump at the blood-brain barrier. These results imply selective tightening of the barrier in patients exposed to the wide range of xenobiotics that are PXR/SXR ligands, including drugs, dietary constituents, and toxicants.
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Address Correspondence To: Dr



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