Involvement of a proton-coupled organic cation antiporter in the blood–brain barrier transport of amantadine

Toyofumi Suzuki, Takahiko Aoyama, Naoto Suzuki, Masaru Kobayashi, Toshiro Fukami, Yoshiaki Matsumoto, Kazuo Tomono

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The blood-to-brain transport of amantadine, a weak N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) antagonist, has been shown previously to participate in the cationic drug-sensitive transport system across the mouse blood–brain barrier (BBB). The purpose of the present study was to characterize the influx transport system by means of both an in situ mouse brain perfusion technique and in vitro studies using rat immortalized brain capillary endothelial cells (GPNT). The observed concentration-dependent initial uptake rate of [3H]amantadine suggested the involvement of a carrier-mediated transport mechanism. The normal uptake at physiological pH 7.4 was decreased by 72.9% in acidic perfusate, while it was increased by 35.3% in alkaline perfusate. These results suggest that pH-dependent transport is regulated by utilizing an oppositely directed proton gradient as a driving force. In addition, the [3H]amantadine uptake was moderately inhibited by the adamantane structural analogs (rimantadine and memantine) and other cationic drugs (pyrilamine, clonidine, nicotine, etc.), but not by substrates or inhibitors of the well-characterized organic cation transporters (tetraethylammonium, l-carnitine and choline). A similar inhibition pattern was observed between the in vivo studies and the in vitro experiments. These results indicate that the influx transport for amantadine across the BBB involves a proton-coupled organic cation antiporter.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-335
Number of pages13
JournalBiopharmaceutics and Drug Disposition
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2016


  • amantadine
  • blood–brain barrier
  • mouse brain perfusion
  • proton-coupled organic cation antiporter
  • rat immortalized brain capillary endothelial cells


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