Circadian modulation in the intestinal absorption of P-glycoprotein substrates in monkeys

Masaru Iwasaki, Satoru Koyanagi, Norio Suzuki, Chiharu Katamune, Naoya Matsunaga, Nobuaki Watanabe, Masayuki Takahashi, Takashi Izumi, Shigehiro Ohdo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Recent studies in laboratory rodents have revealed that circadian oscillation in the physiologic functions affecting drug disposition underlies the dosing time-dependent change in pharmacokinetics. However, it is difficult to predict the circadian change in the drug pharmacokinetics in a diurnal human by using the data collected from nocturnal rodents. In this study, we used cynomolgus monkeys, diurnal active animals, to evaluate the relevance of intestinal expression of P-glycoprotein (P-gp) to the dosing time dependency of the pharmacokinetics of its substrates. The rhythmic phases of circadian gene expression in the suprachiasmatic nuclei (the mammalian circadian pacemaker) of cynomolgus monkeys were similar to those reported in nocturnal rodents. On the other hand, the expression of circadian clock genes in the intestinal epithelial cells of monkeys oscillated at opposite phases in rodents. The intestinal expression of P-gp in the small intestine of monkeys was also oscillated in a circadian time-dependent manner. Furthermore, the intestinal absorption of P-gp substrates (quinidine and etoposide) was substantially suppressed by administering the drugs at the times of day when P-gp levels were abundant. By contrast, there was no significant dosing time-dependent difference in the absorption of the non-P-gp substrate (acetaminophen). The oscillation in the intestinal expression of P-gp appears to affect the pharmacokinetics of its substrates. Identification of circadian factors affecting the drug disposition in laboratory monkeys may improve the predictive accuracy of pharmacokinetics in humans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-37
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Pharmacology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology


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