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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 194541, 10 pages
Review Article

Research Progress on the Role of ABC Transporters in the Drug Resistance Mechanism of Intractable Epilepsy

Division of Pediatric Neurology, Children’s Medical Center, The Second Xiangya Hospital of Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 410011, China

Received 13 September 2014; Revised 4 March 2015; Accepted 5 March 2015

Academic Editor: Aijun Wang

Copyright © 2015 Jie Xiong et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The pathogenesis of intractable epilepsy is not fully clear. In recent years, both animal and clinical trials have shown that the expression of ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters is increased in patients with intractable epilepsy; additionally, epileptic seizures can lead to an increase in the number of sites that express ABC transporters. These findings suggest that ABC transporters play an important role in the drug resistance mechanism of epilepsy. ABC transporters can perform the funcions of a drug efflux pump, which can reduce the effective drug concentration at epilepsy lesions by reducing the permeability of the blood brain barrier to antiepileptic drugs, thus causing resistance to antiepileptic drugs. Given the important role of ABC transporters in refractory epilepsy drug resistance, antiepileptic drugs that are not substrates of ABC transporters were used to obtain ABC transporter inhibitors with strong specificity, high safety, and few side effects, making them suitable for long-term use; therefore, these drugs can be used for future clinical treatment of intractable epilepsy.