Relationship between MDR-1 polymorphism and brain penetration of fexofenadine, an antihistamine, evaluated by PET with [11C]doxepin

Manabu Tashiro, Masayuki Tsujimoto, Motohisa Kato, Hisakazu Ohtani, Masatoshi Itoh, Yasufumi Sawada, Kazuhiko Yanai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and aims: Histamine H1 receptor (H1R) antagonists, or antihistamines, mainly act on the peripheral tissues but can induce sedation. This undesirable central side effect is caused by blockade of nerve transmission in the histaminergic neuron system. Variation in sedative properties of antihistamines is due to difference in their blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability, partly defined by activity of P-glycoprotein (P-gp), an efflux pump located in the membrane of endothelial cells in brain capillaries. The aim of the present study is to evaluate the effects of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) of the P-gp encoding "multi-drug resistance gene (MDR)-1" on BBB permeability of a non-sedative antihistamine, fexofenadine, that is a substrate of P-gp, using positron emission tomography (PET) with [11C]doxepin. Methods: Healthy young male volunteers (n=39, ranging 19-36 y.o.) were recruited and examined for genotyping of the common SNP in exon 26 (C3435T). Twenty-two out of the 39 subjects were studied by PET with [11C]doxepin following oral administration of placebo or fexofenadine 120 mg, in a single blind cross-over design. PET scan started 90 min following administration of each drug and the dynamic data, obtained taking 90 min, were analyzed based on Logan reference method to yield binding potential in various cortical structures. Based on the biding potential data of each subject in two drug conditions, histamine H1 receptor occupancy (H1RO) due to fexofenadine was calculated for each subject and the individual H1RO values were compared between wild-type (CC: n=6), heterozygous (CT: n=13) and homozygous (TT: n=3) subgroups. Results: Overall mean H1RO due to fexofenadine in the 22 subjects was calculated as -5%. The mean H1ROs of the 3 subgroups, CC, CT and TT, were -13.4, -3.7 and -1.4%, respectively, although the difference was not significant. Conclusions: The reason that H1RO of fexofenadine was calculated as lower than zero is not known. The PET results might suggest the presence of slight decrease in efflux function of P-glycoprotein in BBB among holders of C3435T mutation in comparison to wild-type in human. Further investigation is needed to draw a definitive conclusion with larger sample size, including studies on other mutations and other influx and efflux transporters. Functional and molecular imaging will be a strong tool for establishment of "individualized medicine".

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)BP20-07H
JournalJournal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Nov 13
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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