2011 年 131 巻 10 号 p. 1445-1451
Opioid analgesics exhibit cationic properties under physiological conditions, and the mechanism underlying permeation of the blood-brain barrier thus cannot be fully explained by simple diffusion alone. Various types of transporters that exhibit substrate specificity are localized on the blood-brain barrier, and play a role in transporting substances from circulating blood and from brain interstitial fluid. Progress is being made in explaining the mechanisms, functions, and physiological roles of polyspecific organic cation transporters, but little evidence has indicated that these previously identified organic cation transporters are involved in the transport of opioid analgesics across the blood-brain barrier. Consequently, clarifying the role of transporters in the distribution of opioid analgesics into the brain and determining their transport molecule will not only provide clues to effective drug delivery to the brain, but will also contribute to optimizing pain relief treatment, and by extension play a role in drug discovery for analgesics. Currently there are enthusiastic discussions in the literature regarding the existence of putative transporters involved in the transport of opioid analgesics across the blood-brain barrier. This review article introduces the results of our research as well as recent findings on the involvement of transporters in the blood-brain barrier transport of opioid analgesics such as morphine, morphine metabolites, oxycodone, fentanyl, codeine, and pentazocine.