Imipramine associations with plasma components and its uptake by cultured human cells
Review articleOpen access

AbstractIt has been proposed that in vivo variability in response to certain hydrophobic chemicals or drugs, such as imipramine, may be due in part to the varying plasma lipid levels in patients. The distribution of [3H] imipramine into the lipoproteins of human plasma was therefore studied. Differential density centrifugation of plasma containing [3H] imipramine resulted in flotation of very low density, low density and high density lipoproteins (VLDL, LDL, HDL) and approximately one-third of the total 3H radioactivity. Twelve percent of the radioactivity was present in the sedimented fraction which included most of the plasma proteins. There appeared to be little specific binding of [3H] imipramine to VLDL or LDL, as shown by ultracentrifugation, dialysis and column chromatography. [3H] Imipramine was readily incorporated into cultured human fibroblasts; no differences were observed in cellular uptake whether it was added to the medium in plasma, LDL or HDL. Also, no differences in uptake of [3H] imiprramine by LDL-receptor positive and receptor negative cells were noted. These experiments indicate that LDL is not a major vehicle for the transport of this drug and that both the bound and free fractions are available for cellular uptake.

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