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Genetic knockout mice studies suggested ATP-binding cassette transporter family G member 2 (ABCG2)/Abcg2 translocates nitrofurantoin at the mammary-blood barrier, resulting in drug accumulation in milk. The purpose of this study was to establish the role of Abcg2 in nitrofurantoin accumulation in rat milk using N-(4-[2-(1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-6,7-dimethoxy-2-isoquinolinyl)ethyl]-phenyl)-9,10-dihydro-5-methoxy-9-oxo-4-acridine carboxamide (GF120918) as a "chemical knockout" equivalent. The inhibitory effect of GF120918 was verified in Madin-Darby canine kidney II cells stably expressing rat Abcg2 with Hoechst 33342 and nitrofurantoin flux in Transwells. Nitrofurantoin was infused (0.5 mg/h) in the absence and presence of GF120918 (10 mg/kg in dimethyl sulfoxide) to Sprague-Dawley lactating female rats using a balanced crossover design. Administration of GF120918 increased nitrofurantoin concentration in serum (from 443 +/- 51 to 650 +/- 120 ng/ml) and decreased concentration in milk (from 18.1 +/- 0.9 to 1.9 +/- 1.2 microg/ml), resulting in corresponding mean values for milk to serum concentration ratio (M/S) of 41.4 +/- 19.1 versus 3.04 +/- 2.27 in the absence and presence of GF120918 (p < 0.05), respectively. There was a decrease in systemic clearance with GF120918 (2.8 +/- 0.5 l/h/kg) compared with vehicle controls (4.1 +/- 0.5 l/h/kg; p < 0.05). Western blot analysis revealed good expression of Abcg2 and no P-glycoprotein (P-gp) expression in mammary gland, whereas immunohistochemistry confirmed the apical expression of Abcg2 in lactating mammary gland epithelia. Nitrofurantoin active transport into rat milk can be inhibited by GF120918 resulting in a 10-fold lower M/S. Although GF120918 inhibits both Abcg2 and P-gp, the high expression of Abcg2 and the absence of detectable P-gp expression in lactating mammary gland validate an important role for Abcg2 in nitrofurantoin accumulation in rat milk. GF120918 is particularly useful as a rat chemical knockout model to establish ABCG2's role in drug transfer into milk during breastfeeding.


Lipeng Wang, Markos Leggas, Mamta Goswami, Philip E Empey, Patrick J McNamara. N-(4-[2-(1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-6,7-dimethoxy-2-isoquinolinyl)ethyl]-phenyl)-9,10-dihydro-5-methoxy-9-oxo-4-acridine carboxamide (GF120918) as a chemical ATP-binding cassette transporter family G member 2 (Abcg2) knockout model to study nitrofurantoin transfer into milk. Drug metabolism and disposition: the biological fate of chemicals. 2008 Dec;36(12):2591-6

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PMID: 18799806

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