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    Breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP/Abcg2 in human, Bcrp/Abcg2 in rat), a member of the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter family, acts as an efflux pump for xenobiotics, with ability to transport various drugs out of cells. Capsaicin may have the potential to modulate the function of Bcrp transport. This study was to evaluate the effects of capsaicin on the pharmacokinetics of sulfasalazine, a Bcrp substrate, in rats and investigate the mechanism of this food-drug interaction.The rats were pre-treated with 5% carboxymethylcellulose sodium (vehicle), capsaicin (3, 8, 25 mg/kg) and cyclosporine A (10 mg/kg) by gastric gavage for 7 days. On day 7, blood, liver and intestine samples were collected after sulfasalazine administered. Liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) was used to study the effects of capsaicin on the pharmacokinetics of sulfasalazine in rats. RT-PCR and western blotting were used to study the mechanism in biomolecules in rats, respectively.Compared with vehicle group, AUC0-∞ of sulfasalazine in rats were increased by 1.5-folds, 1.6-folds and 1.7-folds in 3, 8 and 25 mg/kg/d capsaicin pre-treated groups. At the same time, the CL/F in rats were decreased by 33%, 38% and 42% in the three groups. In addition, we found Bcrp mRNA levels and protein expressions in rat livers and intestines were decreased in 3, 8 and 25 mg/kg/d capsaicin-treated groups.Our study demonstrated that long-term ingestion of capsaicin significantly enhanced the AUC of sulfasalazine involved down-regulate Bcrp gene and protein expression in rat liver and intestine.


    Fen Chen, Liu Wang, Xuejia Zhai, Nanxi Wang, Yanjie Qin, Chaoran Zhu, Sanlan Wu, Yongning Lu. Effect of capsaicin on breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP/Abcg2) and pharmacokinetics of probe substrates in rats. Xenobiotica; the fate of foreign compounds in biological systems. 2022 Feb;52(2):209-217

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    PMID: 35345975

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