Acta Med. 2011, 54: 3-8

Caco-2 Cells, Biopharmaceutics Classification System (BCS) and Biowaiter

Libuše Smetanová, Věra Štětinová, Zbyněk Svoboda, Jaroslav Květina

Institute of Experimental Biopharmaceutics, Joint Research Centre of PRO.MED.CS Praha a.s. and the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Heyrovského 1207, Hradec Králové, Czech Republic

Received June 30, 2010
Accepted December 6, 2010

Almost all orally administered drugs are absorbed across the intestinal mucosa. The Caco-2 monolayers are used as an in vitro model to predict drug absorption in humans and to explore mechanism of drug absorption. The Caco-2 cells are derived from a human colon adenocarcinoma and spontaneously differentiate to form confluent monolayer of polarized cells structurally and functionally resembling the small intestinal epithelium. For studying drug permeability, Caco-2 cells are seeded onto the Transwell inserts with semipermeable membrane and grown to late confluence (21 days). After determination of cell viability, the integrity of monolayer is checked by phenol red permeability and by 14C-mannitol permeability. The transport from apical to basolateral (AP-BL) and basolateral to apical (BL-AP) is studied by adding the diluted drug on the apical or basolateral side and withdrawing the samples from the opposite compartment, respectively, for HPLC analysis or liquid scintillation spectrometry. Ca2+- free transport medium is used to determine paracellular component of the drug transport. On the basis of permeability and solubility, drugs can be categorized into four classes of Biopharmaceutics Classification System (BCS). For certain drugs, the BCS-based biowaiver approach can be used which enables to reduce in vivo bioequivalence studies.


The work was supported by the research project GAČR 305/08/0535.


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