Comparative Hepatic and Intestinal Efflux Transport of Statins S

Feng Deng, Suvi-Kukka Tuomi, Mikko Neuvonen, Päivi Hirvensalo, Sami Kulju, Christoph Wenzel, Stefan Oswald, Anne M. Filppula, Mikko Niemi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Previous studies have shown that lipid-lowering statins are transported by various ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters. However, because of varying methods, it is difficult to compare the transport profiles of statins. Therefore, we investigated the transport of 10 statins or statin metabolites by six ABC transporters using human embryonic kidney cell-derived membrane vesicles. The transporter protein expression levels in the vesicles were quantified with liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry and used to scale the measured clearances to tissue levels. In our study, apically expressed breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP) and P-glycoprotein (P-gp) transported atorvastatin, fluvastatin, pitavastatin, and rosuvastatin. Multidrug resistance-associated protein 3 (MRP3) transported atorvastatin, fluvastatin, pitavastatin, and, to a smaller extent, pravastatin. MRP4 transported fluvastatin and rosuvastatin. The scaled clearances suggest that BCRP contributes to 87%–91% and 84% of the total active efflux of rosuvastatin in the small intestine and the liver, respectively. For atorvastatin, the corresponding values for P-gp–mediated efflux were 43%–79% and 66%, respectively. MRP3, on the other hand, may contribute to 23%–26% and 25%–37% of total active efflux of atorvastatin, fluvastatin, and pitavastatin in jejunal enterocytes and liver hepatocytes, respectively. These data indicate that BCRP may play an important role in limiting the intestinal absorption and facilitating the biliary excretion of rosuvastatin and that P-gp may restrict the intestinal absorption and mediate the biliary excretion of atorvastatin. Moreover, the basolateral MRP3 may enhance the intestinal absorption and sinusoidal hepatic efflux of several statins. Taken together, the data show that statins differ considerably in their efflux transport profiles. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT This study characterized and compared the transport of atorvastatin, fluvastatin, pitavastatin, pravastatin, rosuvastatin, and simvastatin acid and four atorvastatin metabolites by six ABC transporters (BCRP, MRP2, MRP3, MRP4, MRP8, P-gp). Based on in vitro findings and protein abundance data, the study concludes that BCRP, MRP3, and P-gp have a major impact in the efflux of various statins. Together with in vitro metabolism, uptake transport, and clinical data, our findings are applicable for use in comparative systems pharmacology modeling of statins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)750-759
JournalDrug Metabolism and Disposition
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021
Externally publishedYes
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


Dive into the research topics of 'Comparative Hepatic and Intestinal Efflux Transport of Statins S'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this