Modulation of intestinal permeability by nitric oxide donors: Implications in intestinal delivery of poorly absorbable drugs

Akira Yamamoto, Hiroyuki Tatsumi, Masato Maruyama, Tomomi Uchiyama, Naoki Okada, Takuya Fujita

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62 Citations (Scopus)


The effects of nitric oxide (NO) donors NOC5 [3-(2-hydroxy-1-(methylethyl)-2-nitrosohydrazino)-1-propanamine] and NOC12 [N-ethyl-2-(1-ethyl-hydroxy-2-nitrosohydrazino)-ethanamine] on the permeability of 5(6)-carboxyfluorescein (CF) across the intestinal membrane were examined by an in vitro using chamber method. The NO donors significantly increased the intestinal permeability of CF and their absorption-enhancing effects were concentration-dependent over the range of 0.01 to 0.1 mM. Regional differences in the absorption-enhancing effects of the NO donors were observed (colon > jejunum). The absorption-enhancing effect of NOC12 reduced as the molecular weights of compounds increased. Therefore, the degree of absorption-enhancing effect of NOC12 was dependent on the molecular weights of compounds. In the pretreatment studies with NOC12 and lactate dehydrogenase release studies, the absorption-enhancing effect of 0.1 mM NOC12 was reversible and less toxic to the colonic membrane. On the other hand, the absorption-enhancing effect of NOC12 was inhibited by the coadministration of 2-(4-carboxyphenyl) 4,4,5,5-tetramethylimidazole-1-oxyl 3-oxide sodium salt, an NO scavenger, suggesting that NO can regulate the permeability of water-soluble drugs in the gut. Furthermore, NOC12 (0.1 and 1 mM) significantly decreased the transepithelial electrical resistance value of the colonic membrane, suggesting that the absorptionenhancing mechanism of NOC12 may be partly related to the dilation of the tight junction in the epithelium via a paracellular route. These findings suggest that NO donors may be useful to enhance the intestinal absorption of poorly absorbable drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-90
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 11 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology


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