Role of transporter-mediated efflux in the placental biodisposition of bupropion and its metabolite, OH-bupropion

Sarah J. Hemauer, Svetlana L. Patrikeeva, Xiao-Ming Wang, Doaa R. Abdelrahman, Gary Hankins, Mahmoud Ahmed, Tatiana Nanovskaya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations


Cigarette smoking during pregnancy is a preventable risk factor associated with maternal and fetal complications. Bupropion is an antidepressant used successfully for smoking cessation in non-pregnant patients. Our goal is to determine whether it could benefit the pregnant patient seeking smoking cessation. The aim of this investigation was to determine the role of human placenta in the disposition of bupropion and its major hepatic metabolite, OH-bupropion. The expression of efflux transporters P-gp and BCRP was determined in placental brush border membrane (n=200) and revealed a positive correlation (p<0.05). Bupropion was transported by BCRP (Kt 3μM, Vmax 30pmol/mg protein/min) and P-gp (Kt 0.5μM, Vmax 6pmol/mg protein*min) in placental inside-out vesicles (IOVs). OH-bupropion crossed the dually-perfused human placental lobule without undergoing further metabolism, nor was it an efflux substrate of P-gp or BCRP. In conclusion, our data indicate that human placenta actively regulates the disposition of bupropion (via metabolism, active transport), but not its major hepatic metabolite, OH-bupropion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1080-1086
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical Pharmacology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2010



  • Breast cancer resistance protein
  • Bupropion
  • P-Glycoprotein
  • Placenta
  • Smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Biochemistry
  • Medicine(all)

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