Tanshinone IIA (TSA) is a major constituent of Salvia miltiorrhiza Bunge widely used in the treatment of stroke. This current study aimed to investigate the nature of brain penetration of TSA using several in vitro and in vivo models. The uptake and efflux of TSA in primary rat brain microvascular endothelial cells (RBMVECs) were altered in the presence of a PgP inhibitor or multidrug-resistance-associated protein (Mrp1/2) inhibitor. A polarized transport of TSA was found in RBMVEC monolayers with facilitated efflux from the abluminal to the luminal side. The polarized transport of TSA was attenuated by PgP or Mrp1/2 inhibitors. In an in situ rat brain perfusion model, TSA crossed the blood-brain barrier at a greater rate than that for sucrose, and the brain penetration was increased in the presence of a PgP or Mrp1/2 inhibitor. The brain levels of TSA were only about 31% of that in the plasma and it increased to 74-77% of plasma levels when verapamil or quinidine was coadministered in rats. The entry of TSA to the central nervous system (CNS) significantly increased in rats subjected to middle cerebral artery occlusion or treatment with quinolinic acid. The normalized brain penetration of TSA in mdr1a(-/-) mice was much higher than the wild-type mice. Taken collectively, these findings provide evidence that TSA has limited brain penetration through the blood-brain barrier owing to the contribution of PgP and possibly Mrp1/2.
- Blood-brain barrier
- Mdr1a knockout mice
- Pharmacokinetics of tanshinone IIA
- Tanshinone IIA
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis