Human jejunal permeability of cyclosporin A: Influence of surfactants on P-glycoprotein efflux in Caco-2 cells

Yu Yuan Chiu, Kazutaka Higaki, Brien L. Neudeck, Jeffrey L. Barnett, Lynda S. Welage, Gordon L. Amidon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations


Purpose. The purpose of this work was to determine the jejunal permeability of cyclosporin A (CsA) in humans and whether formulation variables modulate the effects of P-glycoprotein (P-gp) on the permeability of CsA in Caco-2 cells. Methods. A solution containing CsA, phenylalanine, propranolol, polyethyleneglycol (PEG) 400, and PEG 4000 was perfused through a 10-cm jejunal segment in 12 subjects. Caco-2 transport studies were performed using previously reported methodology. Results. The mean Peff (±SD) of CsA in humans was 1.65 (0.53). The mean permeabilities for phenylalanine, propranolol, and PEG 400 were 4.54 (2.39), 2.90 (1.28), and 0.83 (0.51) × 10-4 cm/s, respectively. The presence of surfactants significantly decreased the permeabilities of CsA in both directions in Caco-2 cells. Conclusions. The results suggest that the effects of surfactants via micellar solubilization and inhibition of P-gp efflux on CsA transport in Caco-2 cells are significant. CsA can rightly be classified as a low solubility-high permeability Class II BCS drug and its highly variable absorption from Sandimmune® oral formulations is the result of poor dissolution characteristics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)749-756
Number of pages8
JournalPharmaceutical research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2003

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by NIH grant R01-GM37188. We thank the nurses at the General Clinical Research Center and the staff of the Gastrointestinal Physiology Laboratory, at the University of Michigan Medical Center for their support and assistance with this project. We also thank John Wlodyga for his valuable assistance in various phases of this study.


  • Biopharmaceutic classification system
  • Caco-2 cell culture
  • Cyclosporin A
  • Intestinal permeability
  • P-glycoprotein


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