Objective.The ABC transporter MRP2 (ABCC2) can mediate cisplatin efflux, and over-expression of MRP2 has been associated with cisplatin resistance in cancer cell lines. The aim of this study was to determine the role of MRP2 in modulating cisplatin cytotoxicity in normal cells as well as the relationship between MRP2 expression and clinical response to platinum-based agents in ovarian cancer.Methods.The effect of absence of MRP2 expression on cisplatin sensitivity was investigated using primary hepatocyte cultures from the TR' rat strain, which is deficient in Mrp2. We also examined MRP2 expression immunohistochemically in human ovarian tumors exhibiting extremes of clinical response to platinum-based chemotherapy, either absolute platin resistance or patients with residual disease after surgery who experienced extremely long complete response to primary platinum-based chemotherapy.Results.Primary hepatocyte cultures from Mrp2-deficient TR' rats were over threefold more sensitive to cisplatin and accumulated a twofold greater amount of platinum on DNA that wild-type rat hepatocytes. In human ovarian carcinomas, MRP2 was detected by immunohistochemistry in 3/13 (23%) tumors from patients with absolute platin resistance compared with 5/9 (56%) tumors from patients with prolonged survival following treatment including a platinum-based agent.Conclusion.These studies indicate that MRP2 may play an important role in modulating normal tissue response to cisplatin. However, MRP2 expression occurred only in a subset of primary ovarian cancers, was frequently aberrant in location and was not correlated with clinical response to platinum-based chemotherapy.