2012 Volume 3 Pages 8-14
At the Blood–Brain barrier (BBB), the superfamily of ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters includes the ABCB1 subfamily corresponding to P-glycoprotein (P-gp), the ABCC subfamilies of multidrug resistance-associated proteins (MRPs), and the ABCG2 subfamily corresponding to breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP). These efflux transporters are located mainly in the endothelial cells forming the BBB and prevent the entry of xenobiotics into the brain. Since psychotropics act on target sites of the central nervous system (CNS) in the brain, it is very important to know these transporters' roles at the BBB and to determine the brain drug concentrations at the targeted sites of the CNS. However, there is little information on human brain concentrations of psychotropics. Recent studies have demonstrated that brain concentrations of many psychotropics are significantly higher in P-gp-knockout mice than in wild-type mice. This result implies that P-gp may be a key player in the regulation of brain psychotropic pharmacokinetics and possibly causes the P-gp-mediated drug interaction at the BBB. In this review, we discuss the current findings concerning the role of drug transporters on the concentrations of psychotropics in the brain and summarize the available in vivo studies related to psychotropics.