• Authors: Marquez, B., Caceres, N. E., Mingeot-Leclercq, M. P., Tulkens, P. M., Van Bambeke, F.
  • Year: 2009
  • Journal: Antimicrob Agents Chemother 53 2410-6
  • Applications: in vitro / siRNA / INTERFERin
  • Cell type: J774
    Description: Mouse macrophages


Ciprofloxacin, the most widely used totally synthetic antibiotic, is subject to active efflux mediated by a MRP-like transporter in wild-type murine J774 macrophages. To identify the transporter among the seven potential Mrps, we used cells made resistant to ciprofloxacin obtained by long-term exposure to increasing drug concentrations (these cells show less ciprofloxacin accumulation and provide a protected niche for ciprofloxacin-sensitive intracellular Listeria monocytogenes). In the present paper, we first show that ciprofloxacin-resistant cells display a faster efflux of ciprofloxacin which is inhibited by gemfibrozil (an unspecific MRP inhibitor). Elacridar, at a concentration known to inhibit P-glycoprotein and breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP), only slightly increased ciprofloxacin accumulation, with no difference between resistant and wild-type cells. Analysis at the mRNA (real-time PCR) and protein (Western blotting) levels revealed an overexpression of Mrp2 and Mrp4. Mrp4 transcripts, however, were overwhelmingly predominant (45% [wild-type cells] to 95% [ciprofloxacin-resistant cells] of all Mrp transcripts tested [Mrp1 to Mrp7]). Silencing of Mrp2 and Mrp4 with specific small interfering RNAs showed that only Mrp4 is involved in ciprofloxacin transport in both ciprofloxacin-resistant and wild-type cells. The study therefore identifies Mrp4 as the most likely transporter of ciprofloxacin in murine macrophages but leaves open a possible common upregulation mechanism for both Mrp4 and Mrp2 upon chronic exposure of eukaryotic cells to this widely used antibiotic.