Physiological Characterization of the Transporter-Mediated Uptake of the Reversible Male Contraceptive H2-Gamendazole across the Blood-Testis Barrier

Raymond K. Hau, Joseph S. Tash, Gunda I. Georg, Stephen H. Wright, Nathan J. Cherrington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The blood–testis barrier (BTB) is formed by a tight network of Sertoli cells (SCs) to limit the movement of reproductive toxicants from the blood into the male genital tract. Transporters expressed at the basal membranes of SCs also influence the disposition of drugs across the BTB. The reversible, nonhormonal contraceptive, H2-gamendazole (H2-GMZ), is an indazole carboxylic acid analog that accumulates over 10 times more in the testes compared with other organs. However, the mechanism(s) by which H2-GMZ circumvents the BTB are unknown. This study describes the physiologic characteristics of the carrier-mediated process(es) that permit H2-GMZ and other analogs to penetrate SCs. Uptake studies were performed using an immortalized human SC line (hT-SerC) and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Uptake of H2-GMZ and four analogs followed Michaelis-Menten transport kinetics (one analog exhibited poor penetration). H2-GMZ uptake was strongly inhibited by indomethacin, diclofenac, MK-571, and several analogs. Moreover, H2-GMZ uptake was stimulated by an acidic extracellular pH, reduced at basic pHs, and independent of extracellular Na, K, or Cl- levels, which are intrinsic characteristics of OATP-mediated transport. Therefore, the characteristics of H2-GMZ transport suggest that one or more OATPs may be involved. However, endogenous transporter expression in wild-type Chinese hamster ovary (CHO), Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK), and human embryonic kidney-293 (HEK-293) cells limited the utility of heterologous transporter expression to identify a specific OATP transporter. Altogether, characterization of the transporters involved in the flux of H2-GMZ provides insight into the selectivity of drug disposition across the human BTB to understand and overcome the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic difficulties presented by this barrier.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)299-312
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Volume382
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology

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