Placental ABC Transporters: Biological Impact and Pharmaceutical Significance

Anand A. Joshi, Soniya S. Vaidya, Marie V. St-Pierre, Andrei M. Mikheev, Kelly E. Desino, Abner N. Nyandege, Kenneth L. Audus, Jashvant D. Unadkat, Phillip M. Gerk

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


The human placenta fulfills a variety of essential functions during prenatal life. Several ABC transporters are expressed in the human placenta, where they play a role in the transport of endogenous compounds and may protect the fetus from exogenous compounds such as therapeutic agents, drugs of abuse, and other xenobiotics. To date, considerable progress has been made toward understanding ABC transporters in the placenta. Recent studies on the expression and functional activities are discussed. This review discusses the placental expression and functional roles of several members of ABC transporter subfamilies B, C, and G including MDR1/P-glycoprotein, the MRPs, and BCRP, respectively. Since placental ABC transporters modulate fetal exposure to various compounds, an understanding of their functional and regulatory mechanisms will lead to more optimal medication use when necessary in pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2847-2878
Number of pages32
JournalPharmaceutical Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016


  • P-glycoprotein
  • breast cancer resistance protein
  • drug transport
  • multidrug resistance-associated protein
  • placenta
  • regulation of expression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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