Multidrug resistance protein 1 deficiency promotes doxorubicin-induced ovarian toxicity in female mice

Yingzheng Wang, Mingjun Liu, Jiyang Zhang, Yuwen Liu, Megan Kopp, Weiwei Zheng, Shuo Xiao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Multidrug resistance protein 1 (MDR1), a phase III drug transporter that exports substrates out of cells, has been discovered in both cancerous and normal tissues. The over expression of MDR1 in cancer cells contributes to multiple drug resistance, whereas the MDR1 in normal tissues protects them from chemical-induced toxicity. Currently, the role of MDR1 in the ovary has not been entirely understood. Our objective is to determine the function of MDR1 in protecting against chemotherapy-induced ovarian toxicity. Using both the in vivo transgenic mouse model and in vitro follicle culture model, we investigated the expression of MDR1 in the ovary, the effect of MDR1 deficiency on doxorubicin (DOX)-induced ovarian toxicity, and the ovarian steroid hormonal regulation of MDR1. Results showed that the MDR1 was expressed in the ovarian epithelial cells, stroma cells, theca cell layers, endothelial cells, and luteal cells. The lack of MDR1 did not affect female ovarian function and fertility; however, its deficiency significantly exacerbated the DOX-induced ovarian toxicity in both in vivo and in vitro models. The MDR1 showed significantly higher expression levels in the ovaries at estrus and metestrus stages than those at proestrus and diestrus stages. However, this dynamic expression pattern was not regulated by the ovarian steroid hormones of estrogen (E2) and progesterone (P4) but correlated to the number and status of corpus luteum. In conclusion, our study demonstrates that the lack of MDR1 promotes DOX-induced ovarian toxicity, suggesting the critical role of MDR1 in protecting female ovarian functions during chemotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-292
Number of pages14
JournalToxicological Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Toxicology


  • Chemotherapy
  • Doxorubicin
  • Follicle
  • MDR1
  • Ovarian toxicity


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