Objective—To identify biomarkers of P-glycoprotein (P-gp) substrate neurotoxicity in transgenic mice expressing the mutant canine ABCB1 gene (ABCB1-1Δ).
Animals—8 ABCB1 knock-in and knock-out transgenic mice expressing the ABCB1-1Δ gene and 8 control mice expressing the wild-type canine ABCB1 gene (ABCB1-WT).
Procedures—Groups including 2 ABCB1-1Δ mutant mice and 2 ABCB1-WT mice were administered the P-gp substrates ivermectin (10 mg/kg, SC), doramectin (10 mg/kg, SC), moxidectin (10 mg/kg, PO), or digoxin (1.53 mg/kg, SC). A toxicogenomic approach based on DNA microarrays was used to examine whole-genome expression changes in mice administered P-gp substrates.
Results—Compared with control ABCB1-WT mice, ABCB1-1Δ mutant mice developed neurotoxic signs including ataxia, lethargy, and tremors similar to those reported for dogs with the ABCB1-1Δ mutation. Microarray analysis revealed that gene expression was altered in ABCB1-1Δ mutant mice, compared with findings for ABCB1-WT mice, following administration of the same P-gp substrates. Gene pathway analysis revealed that genes with a ≥ 2-fold gene expression change were associated with behavior and nervous system development and function. Moreover, 34 genes were altered in the ABCB1-1Δ mutant mice in all 4 drug treatment groups. These genes were also associated with behavior, which was identified as the top-ranked gene network.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—These study data have facilitated understanding of the molecular mechanisms of neurotoxicosis in ABCB1-1Δ mutant mice following exposure to various P-gp substrates. Some genes appear to be potential biomarkers of P-gp substrate neurotoxicity that might be used to predict the safety of those drugs in dogs with the ABCB1-1Δ mutation.