The potential role of human multidrug resistance protein 1 (MDR1) and multidrug resistance-associated protein 2 (MRP2) in the transport of Huperzine A in vitro

Ziyan Fei, Mengyun Hu, Larry Baum, Patrick Kwan, Tao Hong, Chunbo Zhang

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6 Citations (Scopus)


1. More than 30% of epilepsy patients suffer pharmacoresistance. Transport of antileptic drugs by P-glycoprotein (P-gp) and MRP2 plays an important role in drug-resistant epilepsy. Huperzine A (Hup-A) is a natural compound, which might have potential in treating neurological disorders including epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease. In this study, we investigated whether human P-gp and MRP2 transport Hup-A. 2. LLC-PK1 and MDCKII cells transfected with human P-gp or MRP2 were used to establish concentration equilibrium transport assays (CETAs) and determine the transport profile of Hup-A. The expression of P-gp and MRP2 was detected by qPCR and western blotting. The transport function of P-gp and MRP2 was measured by Rho123 and CDFDA cell uptake assay. 3. In CETAs, Hup-A at concentrations of 10 ng/mL or 2 µg/mL was transported by MDR1 and MRP2 from basolateral to apical sides of the cell monolayers. P-gp and MRP2 inhibitors completely blocked the efflux of Hup-A. There was no efflux of Hup-A in LLC-PK1 or MDCKII wild-type (WT) cells. 4. We demonstrate that Hup-A is a substrate of P-gp and MRP2. These results imply the efflux of Hup-A across the blood-brain barrier (BBB) in vivo, suggesting potential drug resistance of Hup-A.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)354-362
Number of pages9
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 3 Mar 2020


  • cell monolayer
  • drug transporter
  • drug-resistant epilepsy
  • Hup-A
  • P-glycoprotein

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