Efficacy of drugs aimed at treating central nervous system (CNS) disorders rely partly on their ability to cross the cerebral endothelium, also called the blood-brain barrier (BBB), which constitutes the main interface modulating exchanges of compounds between the brain and blood.
In this work, we used both, conventional pharmacokinetics (PK) approach and in situ brain perfusion technique to study the blood and brain PK of PKRinh, an inhibitor of the double-stranded RNA-dependent protein kinase (PKR) activation, in mice. PKRinh showed a supra dose-proportional blood exposure that was not observed in the brain, and a brain to blood AUC ratio of unbound drug smaller than 1 at all tested doses. These data suggested the implication of an active efflux at the BBB.
Using in situ brain perfusion technique, we showed that PKRinh has a very high brain uptake clearance which saturates with increasing concentrations. Fitting the data to a Michaelis-Menten equation revealed that PKRinh transport through the BBB is composed of a passive unsaturable flux and an active saturable protein-mediated efflux with a km of ≅ 3 μM. We were able to show that the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter P-gp (Abcb1), but not Bcrp (Abcg2), was involved in the brain to blood efflux of PKRinh. At the circulating PKRinh concentrations of this study, the P-gp was not saturated, in accordance with the linear brain PKRinh PK. Finally, PKRinh had high brain uptake clearance (14 μl/g/s) despite it is a good P-gp substrate (P-gp Efflux ratio ≅ 3.6), and reached similar values than the cerebral blood flow reference, diazepam, in P-gp saturation conditions.
With its very unique brain transport properties, PKRinh improves our knowledge about P-gp-mediated efflux across the BBB for the development of new CNS directed drugs.


Camille Taccola a conduit sa Thèse d'Université dans l'équipe 3.