Parallel artificial membrane permeability assay (PAMPA) combined with a 10-day multiscreen Caco-2 cell culture as a tool for assessing new drug candidates.


The parallel artificial membrane permeability assay (PAMPA) is extensively used for the evaluation of early drug candidates. It is high throughput, low cost and is amenable to automation. This method has been shown useful in assessing transmembrane, non-energy dependent, diffusion of drugs such that reasonable predictability with in vivo (passive) absorption is possible. Cell cultures mimicking the gastrointestinal tract such as the CACO-2 cultures have the advantage of taking into account other transport mechanism including paracellular and carrier-mediated uptake but are lower throughput and labor-intensive. In this study, the applicability of two high throughput permeability assays namely PAMPA (PSR4p, pION Inc.) and 96-well Caco-2 cell assay (MultiScreen, Millipore) were used to rank drug permeability as well as to predict passive and active drug absorption/secretion for a series of marketed drugs as well as a collection of structurally diverse drug candidates. CACO-2 cells were cultured using MultiScreen hardware over a period of 10 days with the integrity of the cells assessed using transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) and by the ability of the monolayer to the transport a paracellular marker, sodium fluorescence. Effective permeability (Peff) data were calculated using spectrophotometric data and were binned based on a pre-defined cut-off values as either highly and poorly permeable. A comparison of a well characterized drug training set indicate at least 85% concordance between the data generated from PAMPA and Caco-2 MultiScreen. The values obtained using the MultiScreen approach were also similar to data obtained from the literature using the conventional 21-day Caco-2 cell assay. Differences between PAMPA and CACO-2 ranking were useful indicators of either drug efflux (PAMPA (Peff) > CACO-2 (Peff)) or absorptive transport (CACO-2 (Peff) > PAMPA (Peff)). These results indicate that PAMPA combined with the MultiScreen Caco-2 cell culture may be a useful high throughput screening for predicting passive diffusion and active transport of new drugs.

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@article{Masungi2008ParallelAM, title={Parallel artificial membrane permeability assay (PAMPA) combined with a 10-day multiscreen Caco-2 cell culture as a tool for assessing new drug candidates.}, author={C Masungi and Jurgen Mensch and Alex Van Dijck and Caroline Borremans and Bart Willems and Claire E. Mackie and Marc Noppe and Marcus Eli Brewster}, journal={Die Pharmazie}, year={2008}, volume={63 3}, pages={194-9} }