Drug Metab Dispos. 2021 Jul 29:DMD-AR-2021-000505. doi: 10.1124/dmd.121.000505. Online ahead of print.
(-)-Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the primary psychoactive constituent of cannabis. In humans, 11-hydroxy-THC (11-OH-THC) and 11-nor-9-carboxy-THC (THC-COOH) are psychoactive and non-psychoactive circulating metabolites of THC, respectively. Whether these cannabinoids are substrates or inhibitors of human P-glycoprotein (P-gp) or breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP) is unknown. Previous animal studies suggest that THC and its metabolites could be substrates of these transporters. Therefore, we performed Transwell, cellular accumulation, and vesicular transport assays, at pharmacologically relevant concentrations of these cannabinoids, using Madin-Darby canine kidney II (MDCKII) cells or plasma membrane vesicles overexpressing human P-gp or BCRP. Neither THC nor 11-OH-THC was found to be a substrate or inhibitor of P-gp or BCRP. The efflux ratio of THC-COOH in MDCKII-BCRP cells was 1.6, which was significantly decreased to 1.0 by the BCRP inhibitor Ko143. Likewise, cellular accumulation of THC-COOH was significantly increased 1.6-fold in the presence vs. absence of Ko143. THC-COOH also significantly inhibited BCRP-mediated transport of lucifer yellow, a BCRP substrate; however, THC-COOH was neither a substrate nor an inhibitor of P-gp. Collectively, these results indicate that THC and 11-OH-THC are not substrates or inhibitors (at pharmacologically relevant concentrations) of either P-gp or BCRP. THC-COOH is a weak substrate and inhibitor of BCRP, but not of P-gp. Accordingly, we predict that P-gp/BCRP will not modulate the disposition of these cannabinoids in humans. In addition, use of these cannabinoids will not result in P-gp- or BCRP-based drug interactions. Significance Statement In this study, we systematically investigated whether THC and its major metabolites 11-OH-THC and THC-COOH are substrates and/or inhibitors of human P-gp and BCRP at pharmacologically relevant concentrations. The results obtained are highly valuable for mechanistic understanding and prediction of the roles of P-gp and BCRP in determining the human pharmacokinetics, tissue distribution, and drug interactions of cannabinoids.
Source: ncbi 2