Large neutral amino acid transporter enables brain drug delivery via prodrugs

Mikko Gynther, Krista Laine, Jarmo Ropponen, Jukka Leppänen, Anne Mannila, Tapio Nevalainen, Jouko Savolainen, Tomi Järvinen, Jarkko Rautio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

145 Citations (Scopus)


The blood-brain barrier efficiently controls the entry of drug molecules into the brain. We describe a feasible means to achieve carrier-mediated drug transport into the rat brain via the specific, large neutral amino acid transporter (LAT1) by conjugating a model compound to L-tyrosine. A hydrophilic drug, ketoprofen, that is not a substrate for LAT1 was chosen as a model compound. The mechanism and the kinetics of the brain uptake of the prodrug were determined with an in situ rat brain perfusion technique. The brain uptake of the prodrug was found to be concentration-dependent. In addition, a specific LAT1 inhibitor significantly decreased the brain uptake of the prodrug. Therefore, our results reveal for the first time that a drug-substrate conjugate is able to transport drugs into the brain via LAT1.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)932-936
JournalJournal of Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2008
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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