Induction and activation of P-glycoprotein by dihydroxylated xanthones protect against the cytotoxicity of the P-glycoprotein substrate paraquat
With the aim to develop a positron emission tomography (PET) tracer to assess the distribution of P-glycoprotein (P-gp) at the blood-brain barrier (BBB) in vivo, the potent third-generation P-gp inhibitor elacridar (1) was labeled with (11)C by reaction of O-desmethyl 1 with [(11)C]-methyl triflate. In vitro autoradiography and small-animal PET imaging of [(11)C]-1 was performed in rats (n = 3), before and after administration of unlabeled 1, as well as in wild-type, Mdr1a/b((-/-)) and Bcrp1((-/-)) mice (n = 3). In PET experiments in rats, administration of unlabeled 1 increased brain activity uptake 5.4-fold, whereas blood activity levels remained unchanged. In Mdr1a/b((-/-)) mice, brain activity uptake was 2.5-fold higher compared to wild-type animals, whereas in Bcrp1((-/-)) mice, brain activity uptake was only 1.3-fold higher. In vitro autoradiography showed that 63% of [(11)C]-1 binding was displaceable by an excess of unlabeled 1. As the signal obtained with [(11)C]-1 appeared to be specific for P-gp at the BBB, its utility for the visualization of cerebral P-gp merits further investigation.