Intestinal absorption barriers as modelled by p-glycoprotein and cytochrome p450 a34 in caco2 cells

  • Christine D.H. Tran

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The passage number and origin of two populations of Caco-2 cells influence their enterocyte-like characteristics. Caco-2 cells of passage number >90 from Novartis pharmaceutical company possess higher levels of expression of alkaline phosphatase and P-glycoprotein and a greater cellular uptake of Gly-1.-Pro than those of passage number <40 from the American Type Tissue Culture collection. High P-gp expressing Caco-2 cells have been developed through stepwise selection of the cells with doxonibicin. This newly-developed cell line (hereafter referred to as Type I) possesses approximately twice as much P-gp protein than non-exposed cells, restricts the transepithelial transport of vincristine in the apical-to-basolateral direction whilst facilitating its transport in the reverse direction and accumulates less vincristine than non-exposed cells. There is no apparent evidence of the co-existence of the multidrug resistance protein (MIT) in Type I cells to account for the above-listed observations. Stopping the exposure for more than 28 days decreases the P-gp protein expression in previously doxorubicin-exposed Type I Caco-2 cells and reduces the magnitude of vincristine transepithelial fluxes in both directions to the levels that are almost similar to those of non-exposed cells. Exposing Caco-2 cells to 0.25 JAM la, 25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 induces their expression of cytochrome P450 3A4 protein to the level that is equivalent to that from isolated human jejunal cells. Under the same treatment, doxorubiein-exposed (Type I) cells metabolise naidazolam poorly and less extensively compared to non-exposed cells, suggesting that there is no such co-regulation of P-gp and CYP3A4 in Caco-2 cells. However, there is evidence which suggests CYP3A metabolises mida_zolam into 1- and 4-hydroxymidazolam, the latter may possibly be a P-gp substrate and is transported extracellularly by P-gp, supporting the hypothesis of P-gp-CYP3A4 synergistic roles in keeping xenobiotics out of the body. Doxoru.bicin-exposed (Type I) cells are less effective in translocating L-proline and glycyl-L-proline across the cell mono layers.
Date of Award1999
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorBarbara R Conway (Supervisor), William J. Irwin (Supervisor) & Peter Timmins (Supervisor)


  • intestinal absorption barriers
  • p-glycoprotein
  • cytochrome p450 a34
  • caco2 cells

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