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The transport of nifurtimox, an anti-trypanosomal drug, in an in vitro model of the human blood-brain barrier: Evidence for involvement of breast cancer resistance protein

Watson, Christopher P.; Dogruel, Murat; Mihoreanu, Larisa; Begley, David J.; Weksler, Babette B.; Couraud, Pierre O.; Romero, Ignacio A. and Thomas, Sarah A. (2012). The transport of nifurtimox, an anti-trypanosomal drug, in an in vitro model of the human blood-brain barrier: Evidence for involvement of breast cancer resistance protein. Brain research, 1436 pp. 111–121.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.brainres.2011.11.053
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Abstract

Human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) is a parasitic disease affecting sub-Saharan Africa. The parasites are able to traverse the blood-brain barrier (BBB), which marks stage 2 (S2) of the disease. Delivery of anti-parasitic drugs across the BBB is key to treating S2 effectively and the difficulty in achieving this goal is likely to be a reason why some drugs require highly intensive treatment regimes to be effective. This study aimed to investigate not only the drug transport mechanisms utilised by nifurtimox at the BBB, but also the impact of nifurtimox-eflornithine combination therapy (NECT) and other anti-HAT drug combination therapies (CTs) on radiolabelled-nifurtimox delivery in an in vitro model of drug accumulation and the human BBB, the hCMEC/D3 cell line. We found that nifurtimox appeared to use several membrane transporters, in particular breast-cancer resistance protein (BCRP), to exit the BBB cells. The addition of eflornithine caused no change in the accumulation of nifurtimox, nor did the addition of clinically relevant doses of the other anti-HAT drugs suramin, nifurtimox or melarsoprol, but a significant increase was observed with the addition of pentamidine. The results provide evidence that anti-HAT drugs are interacting with membrane transporters at the human BBB and suggest that combination with known transport inhibitors could potentially improve their efficacy.

Item Type: Journal Article
Copyright Holders: 2011 Elsevier B.V.
ISSN: 1872-6240
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Not Set080268Wellcome Trust
DT grantEP503523/1EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council)
Keywords: human African trypanosomiasis; blood–brain barrier; nifurtimox; eflornithine; breast cancer resistance protein
Academic Unit/Department: Social Sciences
Science > Life, Health and Chemical Sciences
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Biomedical Research Network (BRN)
Item ID: 31146
Depositing User: Ignacio A Romero
Date Deposited: 19 Jan 2012 13:46
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2014 11:20
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/31146
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