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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Blood-brain barrier transport of H1-antagonist ebastine and its metabolite carebastine.

The transport mechanism of the non-sedative H1-antagonist ebastine and its first-pass carboxylic acid metabolite carebastine at the blood-brain barrier (BBB) was studied. In rats, the brain uptake index (BUI) value of [14 C]carebastine was significantly lower than that of [14 C]ebastine. The BUI value of [14 C]carebastine was greatly increased by the addition of non-labeled carebastine. The steady-state uptake of [14 C]carebastine by P-glycoprotein-overexpressing K562/ADM cells was significantly lower than that by their parental drug-sensitive cell line K562. The decreased steady-state uptake of [14 C]carebastine by K562/ADM cells was reversed by verapamil. Steady-state uptake of [14 C]carebastine by primary cultured bovine brain capillary endothelial cells (bovine BCECs) was increased in the presence of metabolic inhibitors and verapamil. Non-labeled carebastine increased the steady-state uptake of a P-glycoprotein substrate, [3 H]vincristine, by bovine BCECs. The initial uptake of [3 H]mepyramine by bovine BCECs and RBEC1 (an immortalized cell line from rat brain capillary endothelial cells) was strongly inhibited by ebastine, while zwitterionic carebastine was slightly inhibitory. The values of brain-to-plasma unbound concentration ratio (Kp,f) in mdr1a(-/-) mice were increased 5.3-fold and 4.2-fold for [14 C ebastine and for [14 C]carebastine, respectively, compared with those in mdr1a(+/+) mice. Non-radiolabeled carebastine increased the Kp,f values of [14 C]carebastine in both types of mice. In conclusion, carebastine was shown to be a substrate for P-glycoprotein-mediated efflux from the brain at the BBB. A second efflux system may also be involved. The relatively low affinity of the uptake transport system for carebastine also limits the brain distribution of ebastine/carebastine.[1]


  1. Blood-brain barrier transport of H1-antagonist ebastine and its metabolite carebastine. Tamai, I., Kido, Y., Yamashita, J., Sai, Y., Tsuji, A. Journal of drug targeting. (2000) [Pubmed]
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