Colchicine, both in vitro and in vivo, inhibits secretion of albumin and other plasma proteins. In vitro, secretion by rat liver slices is inhibited at 10-minus 6 M with maximal effect at 10-minus 5 M. Inhibition of secretion is accompanied by a concomitant retention of nonsecreted proteins within the slices. Colchicine does not inhibit protein synthesis at these concentrations. Vinblastine also inhibits plasma protein secretion but lumicolchicine, griseofulvin, and cytochalasin B do not. Colchicine also acts in vivo at 10-25 mumol/100 g body weight. Inhibition of secretion is not due to changes in the intracellular nucleotide phosphate levels. Colchicine, administered intravenously, acts within 2 min and its inhibitory effect lasts for at least 3 h. Colchicine has no effect on transport of secretory proteins in the rough or smooth endoplasmic reticulum but it causes these proteins to accumulate in Golgi-derived secretory vesicles.

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