Retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells transport a variety of solutes, but the capacity of human RPE cells to transport drugs and xenobiotics is not well understood. As an initial step to address this issue, we have examined human RPE transport of verapamil. Transport of [3H]verapamil was measured in two human RPE cell lines (RPE/Hu and ARPE-19) grown to confluence on 12-well culture plates. Verapamil uptake by RPE/Hu cells was highly concentrative, reaching cell-to-medium ratios as high as 42 by 1 h. Uptake was saturable, with an apparent K m of 7.2 μM. Verapamil uptake decreased in the presence of metabolic inhibitors, low temperature, and organic cations, including quinidine, pyrilamine, quinacrine, and diphenhydramine. However, other organic cations, including tetraethylammonium and cimetidine failed to inhibit. Verapamil uptake was also inhibited by the cationic antiglaucoma drugs diltiazem, timolol, and propranolol. Verapamil uptake was insensitive to changes in membrane potential. However, transport was markedly altered by changes in pH. Decreasing external pH inhibited uptake, whereas efflux was stimulated. Intracellular acidification via NH4Cl prepulse also stimulated uptake. Identical findings were obtained using the commercially available cell line ARPE-19. In view of its unique specificity, the RPE cell verapamil transporter described above is a novel, heretofore undescribed, organic cation transporter, distinct from the known members of the OCT family of organic cation transporters.
The retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) is a single cell layer that lies at the back of the vertebrate eye. RPE cells are polarized, i.e., their apical and basolateral membranes are functionally different. Thus, they mediate vectorial transport of endogenous and exogenous compounds, metabolites, ions, and fluid across the RPE, between the neural retina and the choroidal blood supply (Joseph and Miller, 1991). Recent molecular studies have shown expression of specific transporters for monocarboxylic acids (Gerhart et al., 1999), taurine (Vinnakota et al., 1997), peptide/histidine (Yamashita et al., 1997), glucose (Kumagai et al., 1994), and folic acid (Huang et al., 1997) in RPE cells of several species, including humans. However, the capacity of RPE cells to transport drugs and xenobiotics is largely unexplored. The studies presented here focus on the capacity of RPE cells to transport cationic drugs, specifically the cationic calcium channel blocker verapamil. Verapamil has been used in the treatment of arterial hypertension and glaucoma via systemic administration, but cardiovascular side effects posed an important problem (Monica et al., 1983; Psaty et al., 1995). Recently, it was shown in patients with ocular hypertension that topically administered verapamil significantly reduced intraocular pressure without alteration of systemic blood pressure (Santafe et al., 1996; Abreu et al., 1998; Melena et al., 1999). Thus, topical application of verapamil could be effective in the management of ocular hypertension (Santafe et al., 1996; Abreu et al., 1998; Melena et al., 1999) and low-tension glaucoma (Ettl et al., 1993; Netland et al., 1995; Santafe et al., 1996) without the serious cardiovascular side effects that are commonly found with systemic administration of calcium channel blockers (Giacomini et al., 1985; Ettl et al., 1998).
Topically administered verapamil readily penetrates into the anterior chamber of the eye and accumulates in the aqueous humor, which acts as a drug reservoir for distribution to other compartments (Ettl et al., 1998; Siegner et al., 1998), i.e., iris-ciliary body, lens, vitreous humor, and choroid-retina (Bourlais et al., 1998). Direct measurement of the distribution of verapamil after single topical administration in rabbit eyes showed that topical verapamil rapidly entered vitreous humor as well as aqueous humor (Ettl et al., 1998; Siegner et al., 1998). Because the half-life of verapamil in vitreous humor is longer than that in either aqueous humor or serum (Siegner et al., 1998), repetitive administration of topical verapamil may produce a high concentration of verapamil in vitreous humor, from which it may enter the RPE cells. However, there is no information about possible elimination of verapamil from the vitreous humor. To begin to address this issue, we have measured the uptake of verapamil by human RPE cells in culture. These studies indicate that verapamil transport by RPE cells is both carrier-mediated and pH-dependent. Characterization of this transporter indicates that the human RPE cell verapamil transporter is unique, with features unlike previously characterized organic cation transporters.
[3H]Verapamil (85.0 Ci/mmol), [3H]water (5 mCi/ml), and [14C]carboxyl-inulin (2.21 mCi/g) were purchased from NEN Life Science Products (Boston, MA). All other chemicals were obtained from commercial sources and were of the highest grade available.
The human RPE cell line (designated as RPE/Hu) previously isolated by Hu et al. (1982) was used for the majority of the studies reported below. This cell line was isolated from an anonymous donor sample not referable to any patient (Hu et al., 1982). These cells were maintained in Ham's F-12 medium, supplemented with 10% fetal bovine serum in a humidified incubator at 37°C with 5% CO2. In addition, all experiments were repeated using a commercially available human RPE cell line, ARPE-19, obtained from the American Type Culture Collection (Manassas, VA). ARPE-19 cells were grown in 1:1 Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium:Ham's F-12 medium supplemented with 3 mM l-glutamine and 10% fetal bovine serum. Cells of either cell line were split 1:20 every 3 to 4 days. For transport experiments, 5 × 105cells were plated into individual wells (3.5 cm2) and cultured for 2 days before transport measurement. The culture medium was changed daily.
We measured verapamil uptake in monolayers of cells grown on nonporous plastic support, exposing the apical membrane of the cells to the transport buffer containing [3H]verapamil. Before measuring transport, the culture medium was removed and the cells were washed twice with 5 ml of transport buffer (137 mM NaCl, 5.4 mM KCl, 0.3 mM Na2HPO4, 0.4 mM KH2PO4, 1.3 mM CaCl2, 0.8 mM MgSO4, 5.5 mM glucose, 4.2 mM NaHCO3, and 10 mM Hepes) at pH 7.4 and replaced with 1 ml of transport buffer containing [3H]verapamil (0.4 μCi/ml). After incubation for specific periods at 37°C, the medium was removed and the cells were rapidly rinsed three times with ice-cold 0.1 M MgCl2. The cells were dissolved in 2 ml of 1 N NaOH and neutralized with 2 ml of 1 N HCl. Aliquots were removed for protein assay using a Bio-Rad protein assay kit (Bio-Rad Laboratories, Hercules, CA) with bovine serum albumin used as a standard and liquid scintillation counting using 15 ml of Ecolume (ICN Biomedical, Cleveland, OH). The intracellular volume of RPE cells (6.91 ± 1.41 μl/mg of protein) was measured with [3H]water and [14C]carboxyl-inulin and used for calculation of intracellular concentration of verapamil. [3H]verapamil uptake is expressed as the cell-to-medium ratio.
For the efflux experiments, cells were washed twice with 5 ml of transport buffer and incubated with 1 μM [3H]verapamil (0.4 μCi/ml) in 2 ml of transport buffer for 1 h at room temperature. The transport buffer was removed, the cells were rapidly rinsed twice with ice-cold transport buffer, and incubated at room temperature with 1 ml of transport buffer. Preliminary experiments indicated a small and variable change in the 30- to 60-min uptake of verapamil upon addition of 10 μM cyclosporin A (CSA) consistent with the presence of the multidrug resistance ATPase. To ensure that efflux data were not altered by this transporter, 10 μM CSA was included in the incubation and efflux buffer. After efflux for 1 min, 100 μl of medium was removed. The cells were collected and the radioactivity was determined as described above. Total [3H]verapamil cell content was calculated from counts in the medium and counts remaining in the cells. The metabolism of verapamil in the cells was checked based on McIlhenny (1971) and more than 95% of loaded verapamil was found as the parent compound.
Estimation of Kinetic Parameters.
The kinetic parameters for verapamil uptake by RPE cells were calculated by fitting the data to the following equation: Equation 1where V is the uptake rate of verapamil (pmol/min/mg of protein), S is the verapamil concentration in the medium (μM), K m is the Michaelis-Menten constant (μM), V max is the maximum uptake rate (pmol/min/mg of protein), and P difis the permeability coefficient (μl/min/mg of protein). Curve fitting was performed by an iterative nonlinear least-squares method using a MULTI program (Yamaoka et al., 1981). The input data were weighted as the reciprocal of the observed values and the Damping Gauss Newton Method was used as the fitting algorithm.
To determine the inhibition constantK i value of diphenhydramine in verapamil uptake, the uptake differences between the uptake at 37οC and the uptake at 4οC were fitted to the following equation, for either competitive (eq. 2) or noncompetitive (eq. 3) inhibition, whereI is inhibitor (diphenhydramine) concentration. Equation 2 Equation 3
Each observation was obtained from 6 to 12 individual experiments, each conducted in triplicate using the cell line obtained from Dr. Hu (RPE/Hu). In addition, as noted in the text, experimental findings were verified using the commercially available cell line ARPE-19 (n = 3). Data are presented as mean ± S.E. and the average of replicates were shown in all figures. Differences in mean values were considered to be significant when p < 0.05 and comparison between experimental groups was determined using unpaired Student's t test.
Apical uptake of 1 μM [3H]verapamil was determined in RPE cells grown to confluence on solid support. Uptake is expressed as cell-to-medium ratio, i.e., concentration in intracellular water ÷ medium concentration. As shown in Fig. 1, verapamil uptake by the RPE/Hu cell line (Hu et al., 1982) increased rapidly over the initial 5 min and continued to increase for 1 h. The cell-to-medium ratio at 1 min was 14, and reached 42 by 1 h, demonstrating that verapamil is extensively concentrated in RPE cells. A similar result was obtained in ARPE-19 cells (data not shown).
As shown in Fig.2A, the initial rate of verapamil uptake (estimated at 1 min) by RPE/Hu cells was a saturable function of substrate concentration in the incubation medium over the range from 0.5 to 250 μM, i.e., a carrier-mediated process. The Eadie-Hofstee plot of these data yielded an apparentK m of 7.2 ± 0.7 μM and aV max of 726 ± 140 pmol/min/mg of protein. The passive permeability constant (P dif) was 28.4 ± 7.4 μl/min/mg of protein. The K m(3.0 ± 0.7 μM) and V max(364 ± 45 pmol/min/mg of protein) values in ARPE-19 cells were similar to, but somewhat lower than, the values obtained in the RPE/Hu cells. P dif in the ARPE-19 cell line (24.9 ± 1.8 μl/min/mg of protein) was almost identical to the value in RPE/Hu cells. As shown in Fig. 2B, at concentrations from 0 to 10 μM, the saturable component of uptake accounted for the bulk of the verapamil uptake by RPE cells; whereas, at higher concentrations diffusion played a much greater role in verapamil entry.
When the RPE/Hu cell line was pretreated with the metabolic inhibitors carbonylcyanide-p-(trifluoromethoxy)phenylhydrazone (2 μM), 2,4-dinitrophenol (1 mM), NaN3 (10 mM), rotenone (30 μM), and HgCl2 (100 μM) the initial rate of verapamil uptake (1 min) was significantly inhibited in every case (Fig. 3). Verapamil uptake was also reduced when the incubation temperature was decreased to 4°C.
To determine the specificity of this transporter, we examined the effect of various potential inhibitors on the 1-min uptake of 1 μM [3H]verapamil by the RPE/Hu cell line (Fig. 4, A and B). All inhibitors were tested at a concentration of 500 μM, except verapamil itself (100 μM) and CSA (10 μM). The organic anion PAH had no effect on RPE cell verapamil uptake. Likewise, a number of organic cations, including tetraethylammonium (TEA),N 1-methylnicotinamide, carnitine, tubocurarine, tetrapentylammonium, cimetidine, and guanidine did not inhibit verapamil transport (Fig. 4A). However, uptake of verapamil was significantly (60–80%) inhibited by several organic cations, including quinacrine, pyrilamine, quinidine, and verapamil itself (Fig.4, A and B). Since none of these inhibitors decreased verapamil uptake at 4°C, inhibition was primarily directed against transport of verapamil, rather than its binding to RPE cells (Fig. 4B). As shown in Fig. 4C, similar results were obtained in the ARPE-19 cell line. ARPE-19 verapamil uptake was insensitive to PAH, TEA, and cimetidine; whereas, verapamil itself, pyrilamine, and quinidine were effective inhibitors.
The results shown in Fig. 4 suggest that verapamil transport in RPE cells is mediated by a transport system specific for organic cations. Recently, Mizuuchi et al. (1999) reported a diphenhydramine transport system in Caco-2 cells that has transport characteristics very similar to the RPE cell verapamil transport system. To evaluate the possibility that verapamil transport by RPE cells might be mediated by the same transporter found in Caco-2 cells, we examined the effects of diphenhydramine on verapamil uptake by RPE/Hu cells. As shown in Fig.5, verapamil uptake was decreased in a concentration-dependent manner by diphenhydramine at 37°C, whereas no significant change was shown at 4°C. From the difference between uptake at 37°C and 4°C, the K ivalues for diphenhydramine was calculated to be 15.3 ± 3.5 and 17.5 ± 3.9 μM in the case of competitive inhibition and noncompetitive inhibition, respectively.
Additionally, the antiglaucoma drugs diltiazem (100 μM), timolol (100 μM), propranolol (100 μM), nifedipine (200 μM), and acetazolamide (500 μM) were tested as inhibitors of verapamil uptake by RPE/Hu cells. Nifedipine and acetazolamide did not inhibit verapamil uptake. However, diltiazem, timolol, and propranolol significantly inhibited verapamil uptake by RPE/Hu cells (Fig.6). The same pattern of inhibition was seen in ARPE-19 cell line.
To investigate the influence of membrane potential (PD) on verapamil uptake, PD was altered by varying the extracellular potassium concentration: 0 mM (hyperpolarized), 5 mM (control), or 100 mM (depolarized). Microspectrofluorometry with the potential-sensitive dye 3,3′-dihexyloxacarbocyanine iodide demonstrated that altered medium K+ concentration caused the expected changes in PD, i.e., depolarization with high K+ and hyperpolarization with low K+ (data not shown). Verapamil uptake was not changed by these alterations in potassium concentration in the presence or absence of valinomycin (10.4 ± 0.5, 10.1 ± 1.1, 10.3 ± 0.7, and 11.4 ± 1.2, at 0, 5, 100 mM K+, and 100 mM K+ plus 5 μM valinomycin, respectively), indicating that verapamil uptake is not dependent on membrane potential.
As shown in Fig.7A, uptake of verapamil was dependent on medium pH, being greatest at alkaline external pH, e.g., uptake at pH 8.4 was about 12 times larger than that at pH 5.4. The uptake of verapamil at each pH was inhibited by 200 μM quinidine. The quinidine-insensitive uptake of verapamil presumably reflects diffusive uptake of the nonionized free base. The quinidine-sensitive uptake, calculated from the difference in uptake in the absence and presence of quinidine, increased 14-fold from pH 5.4 to 8.4. The pH dependence of verapamil uptake in the absence and presence of quinidine was identical in ARPE-19 cells (data not shown).
Verapamil uptake was also determined after intracellular acidification by prepulsing the RPE cells for 15 min with 30 mM NH4Cl in Na+- and HCO3 −- free Ringer's solution (Brokl et al., 1998). Preliminary experiments with the pH-sensitive dye 2′,7′-bis(2-carboxyethyl)-5,6-carboxyfluorescein demonstrated that this maneuver acidified intracellular pH in the manner expected (data not shown). Acidification of intracellular pH stimulated verapamil uptake by RPE/Hu cells about 2-fold compared with sham-treated cells (Fig.7B). These results suggest that verapamil transport may be mediated by H+ exchange. To confirm this hypothesis, efflux of verapamil from RPE cells into medium of varying pH was assessed. For this determination, RPE/Hu cells were preloaded by incubation in transport buffer containing 1 μM [3H]verapamil for 60 min at room temperature. CSA (10 μM) was added to eliminate the possibility of multidrug resistance transporter (P-glycoprotein, P-gp)-mediated verapamil efflux. After preloading, the medium was removed and replaced with fresh verapamil-free medium at various pH. As shown in Fig.8, efflux increased as medium pH decreased, reaching 68% of initial cellular content at 1 min at pH 5.4 compared with only 19% at an external pH of 8.4. The same pattern of pH-dependent efflux was seen in the ARPE-19 cell line (data not shown).
Repeated topical administration of verapamil is recommended for management of ocular hypertension and glaucoma (Ettl et al., 1998). After topical administration, significant accumulation of verapamil was found in both aqueous and vitreous humors (Ettl et al., 1998; Siegner et al., 1998). Transport of verapamil by RPE cells in the retina-choroid direction is a potential route for elimination from these compartments. However, RPE cell transport of organic cations, like verapamil, has not been investigated. Nevertheless, it is well documented that positively charged drugs and xenobiotics are well transported by other epithelia, including kidney, liver, intestine, and choroid plexus (Pritchard and Miller, 1993; Koepsell, 1998). From these studies, at least three classes of organic cation transporters have been identified at the molecular level: 1) potential-driven carriers, including OCT1, OCT2, and OCT3, which transport organic cations across the basolateral membrane from the blood to the cells (Grundemann et al., 1994; Kekuda et al., 1998; Okuda et al., 1999; Sweet and Pritchard, 1999); 2) proton/organic cation antiporters, e.g., OCTN1 (Tamai et al., 1997); and 3) ATP-driven pumps, e.g., P-gp (Thiebaut et al., 1989; Cordon-Cardo et al., 1990).
Relationship of RPE Verapamil Transport to Known Organic Cation Transporters.
Verapamil uptake by confluent monolayers of RPE cells was a saturable function of substrate concentration (Fig. 2). It depended upon metabolic energy, as indicated by the significant inhibition of uptake by metabolic inhibitors or lowered incubation temperature (Fig. 3). These findings indicate the involvement of a carrier-mediated system in the uptake process. To determine whether RPE verapamil transport could be accounted for by known organic cation transporters, the specificity of verapamil transport into RPE cells was assessed (Fig. 4). These results indicate that the specificity of verapamil transport is very different from the cloned organic cation transporters (OCT1, OCT2, OCT3, OCTN1, and OCTN2). For example, TEA, which is well transported by all five transporters (Grundemann et al., 1994; Gorboulev et al., 1997; Kekuda et al., 1998; Wu et al., 1998b; Sweet and Pritchard, 1999; Yabuuchi et al., 1999), did not inhibit RPE verapamil transport. Similarly, cimetidine, which inhibits these transporters (Kekuda et al., 1998; Urakami et al., 1998), did not change verapamil uptake by RPE cells. Furthermore,N 1-methylnicotinamide, guanidine, tetrapentylammonium, and carnitine, each of which is known to be transported by, or to inhibit, one or more of the cloned organic cation transporters (Gorboulev et al., 1997; Zhang et al., 1997; Kekuda et al., 1998; Tamai et al., 1998; Urakami et al., 1998; Okuda et al., 1999; Yabuuchi et al., 1999) did not inhibit verapamil transport by RPE cells, even at 500-fold higher concentration (Fig. 4). Together, these data indicate that RPE cell verapamil transport is mediated by a carrier distinct from the known organic cation transporters listed above. Nevertheless, there are some similarities between RPE cell verapamil transport and transport by some of these carriers. For example, verapamil, quinidine, and pyrilamine are substrates for OCTN1 (Yabuuchi et al., 1999). In addition, quinidine, an effective inhibitor of OCT1 and OCT2, also inhibited verapamil uptake by RPE cells (Fig.4). The basis for these similarities must await molecular characterization of the RPE carrier. Transport properties of the cloned organic cation transporters and the verapamil transporter observed in the present study are summarized in Table1.
Recently, two other systems have been described that bear some similarity to RPE verapamil transport. However, in both cases, major differences in substrate specificity between these systems and RPE cell verapamil transport are readily apparent. First, guanidine transport by alveolar epithelial cells was shown to be inhibited by verapamil, TEA, and cimetidine (Shen et al., 1999). However, neither TEA nor cimetidine inhibited RPE cell verapamil transport (Fig. 4). Second, a number of similarities exist between RPE cell verapamil transport and the recently characterized diphenhydramine (tertiary amine) transport system in Caco-2 cells (Mizuuchi et al., 1999). Like RPE cell verapamil transport, Caco-2 cell diphenhydramine transport was insensitive to changes in membrane potential and appeared to be pH-driven. In addition, Caco-2 diphenhydramine transport (Mizuuchi et al., 1999), like RPE cell verapamil transport (Fig. 4), was insensitive to TEA or cimetidine. Furthermore, diphenhydramine inhibited verapamil uptake by RPE cells in a concentration-dependent manner (Fig. 5). However, theK i value for diphenhydramine against verapamil transport into RPE cells was only 15.3 to 17.5 μM assuming competitive or noncompetitive inhibition, respectively. In either case, these values are much lower than itsK m of 1 mM in Caco-2 cells, demonstrating a marked difference in affinity between the intestinal and RPE systems.
Verapamil is also known to be a substrate for P-gp, which uses ATP hydrolysis to drive transport of large organic cations (Thiebaut et al., 1989; Cordon-Cardo et al., 1990; Rodriguez et al., 1999). P-gp has been shown to be present in the apical membranes of many epithelia and actively pumps substrates out of the tissue, e.g., into the lumen of the intestine or renal tubule (Thiebaut et al., 1989; Cordon-Cardo et al., 1990; Rodriguez et al., 1999). Certainly, verapamil uptake by RPE cells is energy-dependent (Fig. 3) and P-gp modulators (quinidine and quinacrine) inhibited verapamil uptake in this study (Fig. 4). However, RPE cell uptake of verapamil cannot be explained by the action of P-gp. Verapamil is accumulated by RPE cells, whereas P-gp mediates energy-dependent efflux from those cells that express it. If P-gp were expressed in RPE cells, its action should oppose uptake of verapamil. In fact, as shown in Fig. 4A, 10 μM cyclosporin A (a potent P-gp inhibitor) did not inhibit verapamil uptake. Thus, P-gp cannot account for the verapamil transport characterized in this study.
Interestingly, topically used therapeutics for ocular hypertension and low-tension glaucoma affected verapamil uptake in different ways (Fig.6). The typical β-blockers timolol and propranolol decreased RPE cell verapamil uptake, indicating that these drugs might be transported via the same pathway as verapamil. However, the carbonic anhydrase inhibitor acetazolamide (a weak anion at physiological pH) did not change verapamil transport. Nifedipine (a neutral compound) and diltiazem (a cation) are both calcium channel blockers like verapamil. Nifedipine did not inhibit verapamil, whereas diltiazem demonstrated significant inhibition. Thus, it appears that the cationic drugs may alter the handling of verapamil in the eye and may themselves be transported by the verapamil system. Clearly, further studies are necessary to better define the kinetic behavior and possible side effects of these drugs after topical administration to the eye.
Driving Forces for RPE Verapamil Transport.
Organic cation transporters can be classified by their driving forces. For example, in the kidney, basolateral organic cation transport is driven by inside negative membrane potential; whereas, apical organic cation transport is driven by a pH gradient. To characterize the mechanism of verapamil transport in RPE cells, we examined the effects of membrane potential and pH on verapamil uptake by RPE cells. Verapamil transport was not changed by depolarization of the cells. These results are additional evidence that the RPE verapamil transporter is distinct from the basolateral organic cation carriers (OCT1, OCT2, and OCT3), all of which are dependent on membrane potential (Grundemann et al., 1994;Gorboulev et al., 1997; Kekuda et al., 1998). On the other hand, both total and quinidine-sensitive (mediated) verapamil uptake were stronglycis-inhibited by protons, i.e., by decreased external pH (Fig. 7A). Considering that the pKa value of verapamil is 8.6, the ionized fractions of verapamil at pH 8.4, 7.4, 6.4, and 5.4 were 55, 77, 90, and 96%, respectively. Thus, the decrease in the quinidine-sensitive uptake as external pH was lowered cannot be explained by a decrease in the concentration of ionized verapamil, and must reflect a direct inhibition of the verapamil uptake process. Such an effect could arise from allosteric modulation of transporter activity by protons, as previously shown for the cloned organic cation transporter OCT2 (Sweet and Pritchard, 1999). Alternatively, it could reflect a direct coupling of verapamil uptake to the proton gradient (i.e., verapamil/proton exchange). To distinguish between these two possibilities, the proton gradient was modified in two ways: by increasing intracellular proton concentration (Fig. 7B), or by examining the effect of external proton concentration on the efflux of verapamil (Fig. 8). Under both conditions, transport of verapamil was increased as the proton gradient across the membrane was increased, demonstrating that RPE cell verapamil transport is mediated by H+/verapamil antiport. In this regard, transport by RPE cells is similar to TEA transport via OCTN1, the only organic cation transporter thought to be a proton/organic cation exchanger (Yabuuchi et al., 1999). However, the specificity properties discussed above, most notably the inability of TEA to inhibit RPE cell verapamil transport, strongly argue that verapamil transport by RPE cells is not mediated by OCTN1.
In conclusion, based on both specificity and driving force, RPE cell verapamil transport appears to be mediated by a novel transporter that is distinct from any of the cloned organic cation transport proteins.
We thank Dr. David Miller for assistance with the fluorimetric assessment of the distribution of potential and pH-sensitive dyes and for helpful discussion of the manuscript.
- Received June 23, 2000.
- Accepted October 9, 2000.
Send reprint requests to: John B. Pritchard, Ph.D., Laboratory of Pharmacology and Chemistry, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institute of Health, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709. E-mail:
- retinal pigment epithelial cells
- cyclosporin A
- maximum uptake rate
- permeability coefficient
- membrane potential
- U.S. Government