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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2009

P-glycoprotein in intestines, liver, kidney and lymphocytes in horse

Tyden, E.; Tallkvist, J.; Tjazlve, H.; Larsson, P.


P-glycoprotein (P-gp) is an important drug transporter, which is expressed in a variety of cells, such as the intestinal enterocytes, the hepatocytes, the renal tubular cells and the intestinal and peripheral blood lymphocytes. We have studied the localization and the gene and protein expression of P-gp in these cells in horse. In addition we have compared the protein sequence of P-gp in horse with the protein sequences of P-gp in several other species. Real time RT-PCR and Western blot showed gene and protein expression of horse P-gp in all parts of the intestines, but there was no strict correlation between these parameters. Immunohistochemistry showed localization of P-gp in the apical cell membranes of the enterocytes and, in addition, staining was observed in the intestinal intraepithelial and lamina propria lymphocytes. Peripheral blood lymphocytes also stained for P-gp, and gene and protein expression of P-gp were observed in these cells. There was a high gene and protein expression of P-gp in the liver, with P-gp-immunoreactivity in the bile canalicular membranes of the hepatocytes. Gene and protein expression of P-gp were found in the kidney with localization of the protein in different parts of the nephrons. Protein sequence alignment showed that horse P-gp has two amino acid insertions at the N-terminal region of the protein, which are not present in several other species examined. One of these is a 99 amino acid long sequence inserted at amino acid positions 23-121 from the N-terminal. The other is a six amino acid long sequence present at the amino acid positions 140-145 from the N-terminal. The results of the present study indicate that P-gp has an important function for oral bioavailability, distribution and excretion of substrate compounds in horse.

Published in

Journal of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics
2009, Volume: 32, number: 2, pages: 167-176