Determining P-glycoprotein-drug interactions: evaluation of reconstituted P-glycoprotein in a liposomal system and LLC-MDR1 polarized cell monolayers.
In cell culture systems with aqueous buffers, concentration-response curves to lipophilic inhibitors are difficult to establish because plateau effects (Imax) are often not reached because of limited drug solubility. Consequently, the inhibitory potency of a compound will not be definable using IC50 values (concentration exerting 50% of Imax). Since alternative potency measures f2 values, the concentrations required to double baseline signals have been proposed. Using both methods, we reevaluated the concentration-response curves of calcein assays with 78 compounds in three different cell culture systems and found a close correlation between both methods (r(s) = 0.93-0.99, p < or = 0.0028). These findings suggest that f2 values are a valuable alternative to define rank orders of highly lipophilic inhibitors as a basis for the prediction of pharmacological interaction properties in clinical settings. Although it was only tested for inhibition of P-glycoprotein, it seems likely that this method may be transferred to other assays with other proteins.