Estradiol and progesterone-mediated regulation of P-gp in P-gp overexpressing cells (NCI-ADR-RES) and placental cells (JAR)

Lisa D. Coles, Insong J. Lee, Pamela J. Voulalas, Natalie D. Eddington

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37 Scopus citations


The effect of progesterone and estrogen treatment on the expression and function of P-glycoprotein (P-gp) was evaluated in JAR cells and a P-gp overexpressing cell line, NCI-ADR-RES. Western blot analysis and real-time Q-PCR were used to evaluate P-gp protein and MDR1 mRNA expression respectively in the cells following incubation with progesterone (P4) and/or β-estradiol (E2). Cellular uptake studies of the P-gp substrates, saquinavir and paclitaxel, were performed to evaluate function. Treatment with either E2 or P4 resulted in a significant increase in P-gp protein levels in the NCI-ADR-RES cells at concentrations of or greater than 100 nM or 10 nM, respectively. JAR cells also had increased levels of P-gp with 100 nM of P4 but were much more sensitive to E2 showing increased P-gp at a concentration of 1 nM. Furthermore, E2 or P4 treatment resulted in a significant decrease in cellular uptake of the P-gp substrates tested in these cells lines. Based on mRNA quantitation, a transient increase (2-fold) in MDR1 levels was observed at 8 h postincubation with either E2 or P4, while MDR1 levels remained high in the JAR cells treated with E2 for 72 h postincubation. The addition of actinomycin D, a transcription inhibitor negated the increase in P-gp by P4 and E2. P4 and E2 increase P-gp expression and function in NCI-ADR-RES and JAR cells with the ERα-expressing cells (JAR) much more sensitive to E2. Furthermore, transcriptional regulation by E2 and P4 likely contributes to the modulation of P-gp levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1816-1825
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular pharmaceutics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 7 2009


  • Estradiol
  • Hormones
  • JAR cells
  • NCI-ADR-RES cells
  • Pregnancy
  • Progesterone
  • Regulation


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