Methamphetamine is one of the most abused illicit drugs with roughly 1.2 million users in the United States alone. A large portion of methamphetamine and its metabolites is eliminated by the kidney with renal clearance larger than glomerular filtration clearance. Yet the mechanism of active renal secretion is poorly understood. The goals of this study were to characterize the interaction of methamphetamine and its major metabolites with organic cation transporters (OCT) and multidrug and toxin extrusion (MATE) transporters and to identify the major transporters involved in the disposition of methamphetamine and its major metabolites, amphetamine and p-hydroxymethamphetamine (p-OHMA). We used cell lines stably expressing relevant transporters to show that methamphetamine and its metabolites inhibit hOCT1-3 and hMATE1/2-K with the greatest potencies against hOCT1 and hOCT2. Methamphetamine and amphetamine are substrates of hOCT2, hMATE1 and hMATE2-K, but not hOCT1 and hOCT3. p-OHMA is transported by hOCT1-3 and hMATE1, but not hMATE2-K. In contrast, organic anion transporters 1 and 3 do not interact or transport these compounds. Methamphetamine and its metabolites exhibited complex interactions with hOCT1 and hOCT2, suggesting the existence of multiple binding sites. Our studies suggest the involvement of the renal OCT2/MATE pathway in tubular secretion of methamphetamine and its major metabolites and the potential of drug-drug interactions with substrates or inhibitors of the OCTs. This information may be considered when prescribing medications to suspected or known abusers of methamphetamine to mitigate the risk of increased toxicity or reduced therapeutic efficacy.
- drug-drug interactions
- Transporter-mediated drug/metabolite disposition
- Uptake transporters (OATP, OAT, OCT, PEPT, MCT, NTCP, ASBT, etc.)
- The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics