Effect of absorption-modifying excipients, hypotonicity, and enteric neural activity in an in vivo model for small intestinal transport

The small intestine mucosal barrier is physiologically regulated by the luminal conditions, where intestinal factors, such as diet and luminal tonicity, can affect mucosal permeability. The intestinal barrier may also be affected by absorption-modifying excipients (AME) in oral drug delivery systems. Currently, there is a gap in the understanding of how AMEs interact with the physiological regulation of intestinal electrolyte transport and fluid flux, and epithelial permeability. Therefore, the objective of this single-pass perfusion study in rat was to investigate the effect of three AMEs on the intestinal mucosal permeability at different luminal tonicities (100, 170, and 290 mOsm). The effect was also evaluated following luminal administration of a nicotinic receptor antagonist, mecamylamine, and after intravenous administration of a COX-2 inhibitor, parecoxib, both of which affect the enteric neural activity involved in physiological regulation of intestinal functions. The effect was evaluated by changes in intestinal lumen-to-blood transport of six model compounds, and blood-to-lumen clearance of 51Cr-EDTA (a mucosal barrier marker). Luminal hypotonicity alone increased the intestinal epithelial transport of 51Cr-EDTA. This effect was potentiated by two AMEs (SDS and caprate) and by parecoxib, while it was reduced by mecamylamine. Consequently, the impact of enteric neural activity and luminal conditions may affect nonclinical determinations of intestinal permeability. In vivo predictions based on animal intestinal perfusion models can be improved by considering these effects. The in vivo relevance can be increased by treating rats with a COX-2 inhibitor prior to surgery. This decreases the risk of surgery-induced ileus, which may affect the physiological regulation of mucosal permeability.

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