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Papers of the Week

Papers: 7 Jan 2023 - 13 Jan 2023

Animal Studies

2023 Jan 07

J Pharm Sci

L-Type Amino Acid Transporter 1 (SLC7A5)-Mediated Transport of Pregabalin at the Rat Blood-Spinal Cord Barrier and its Sensitivity to Plasma Branched-Chain Amino Acids.


Pregabalin is an anti-neuropathic pain drug inhibiting the α2δ subunit of the voltage-dependent calcium channel in the spinal cord. The aim of this study is to characterize the transport mechanism of pregabalin at the blood-spinal cord barrier (BSCB) by means of in vivo experiments in rats and in vitro studies using primary-cultured rat spinal cord endothelial cells. We isolated endothelial cells by culturing rat spinal cord tissue in the presence of puromycin, and confirmed the expression of BSCB markers such as Cd31, Mdr1a, and Claudin-5. The uptake of pregabalin by primary-cultured rat spinal cord endothelial cells was sodium-independent and was significantly inhibited by L-leucine, 2-aminobicyclo-(2,2,1)-heptane-2-carboxylic acid, and JPH203. These results suggest the involvement of L-type amino acid transporter (LAT) 1. LAT1 mRNA and protein was expressed in primary-cultured rat spinal cord endothelial cells, which is consistent with LAT1 expression at the BSCB. In the in vivo study, the transfer of pregabalin to rat spinal cord and brain was significantly decreased by the pre-administration of branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), which are endogenous substrates of LAT1. Our results indicate that pregabalin transport across the BSCB is mediated at least in part by LAT1 and is inhibited by plasma BCAAs.