Stability, metabolism and transport of D-Asp(OBzl)-Ala--a model prodrug with affinity for the oligopeptide transporter

B Steffansen, E I Lepist, M E Taub, B D Larsen, S Frokjaer, H Lennernäs

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The model prodrug D-Asp(OBzl)-Ala has previously been shown to have affinity and to be transported by the oligopeptide transporter PepT1 expressed in Caco-2 cells. The main objective of the present study was to investigate the aqueous stability of D-Asp(OBzl)-Ala and its in vitro metabolism in different gastrointestinal media arising from rats and humans, as well as in human plasma. The second major aim of the study was to evaluate our previous study in Caco-2 cell culture, by determining the effective intestinal permeability (Peff) of D-Asp(OBzl)-Ala in situ using the single-pass rat perfusion model. The aqueous stability studies show water, general buffer, as well as specific acid and base catalysis of D-Asp(OBzl)-Ala. The degradation of the model prodrug was independent of ionic strength. The half-lives in rat jejunal fluid and homogenate were >3 h. In human gastric and intestinal fluids, the half-lives were >3 h and 2.3+/-0. 03 h, respectively. Using the rat single-pass perfusion technique, the effective jejunal permeability (Peff) of D-Asp(OBzl)-Ala was determined to be high (1.29+/-0.5.10-4 cm/s). The 32 times higher Peff value found in the perfusion model compared to Caco-2 cells is most likely due to a higher functional expression of the oligopeptide transporter. Rat jejuna Peff was reduced by approximately 50% in the presence of well known oligopeptide transporter substrates, such as Gly-Sar and cephalexin. It may be that D-Asp(OBzl)-Ala is primarily absorbed intact by the rat jejunal oligopeptide transporter, since the stability in the intestinal homogenate and fluids was rather high (t1/2>2.3 h).

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)67-73
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1999


  • Algorithms
  • Animals
  • Biotransformation
  • Caco-2 Cells
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Digestive System
  • Dipeptides
  • Drug Stability
  • Half-Life
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Intestinal Absorption
  • Jejunum
  • Models, Biological
  • Perfusion
  • Prodrugs
  • Protein Binding
  • Rats
  • Symporters


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