The blood-brain barrier (BBB) controls the entry of xenobiotics into the brain. Often the development of central nervous system drugs needs to be terminated because of their poor brain uptake. We describe a way to achieve large neutral amino acid transporter (LAT1)-mediated drug transport into the rat brain. We conjugated ketoprofen to an amino acid l-lysine so that the prodrug could access LAT1. The LAT1-mediated brain uptake of the prodrug was demonstrated with in situ rat brain perfusion technique. The ability of the prodrug to deliver ketoprofen into the site of action, the brain intracellular fluid, was determined combining in vivo and in vitro experiments. A rapid brain uptake from blood and cell uptake was seen both in in situ and in vivo experiments. Therefore, our results show that a prodrug approach can achieve uptake of drugs via LAT1 into the brain intracellular fluid. The distribution of the prodrug in the brain parenchyma and the site of parent drug release in the brain were shown with in vivo and in vitro studies. In addition, our results show that although lysine or ketoprofen are not LAT1-substrates themselves, by combining these molecules, the formed prodrug has affinity for LAT1.
- Brain uptake
- Drug delivery