Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Drug Metab Dispos. 2000 Jul;28(7):857-64.

Disposition of valproic acid in maternal, fetal, and newborn sheep. II: metabolism and renal elimination.

Author information

  • 1Division of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.


Metabolism and renal excretion of valproic acid (VPA) were examined in maternal, fetal, and newborn sheep to identify the underlying reasons for the previously observed reduced VPA clearance in newborn lambs. Plasma and urine from VPA infusion studies in maternal, fetal, and newborn sheep were analyzed for VPA and its metabolites [VPA-glucuronide; beta-oxidation products: (E)-2-ene, (E)-3-ene, and 3-keto VPA; hydroxylated metabolites: 3-hydroxy, 4-hydroxy, and 5-hydroxy VPA (5-OH VPA); and 4-ene VPA, 4-keto VPA, 2-propylglutaric acid, and 2-propylsuccinic acid] using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. All measured metabolites were detectable in maternal and fetal plasma, with 3-keto and 5-OH VPA being at higher concentrations in the fetus. Plasma concentrations of (E)-2-ene, (E)-3-ene, 3-keto, and 5-OH VPA were higher in the newborn compared with the mother, whereas those of the other metabolites were similar. A smaller percentage of the dose was excreted as VPA-glucuronide in newborn lamb urine (28.3 +/- 12.0%) compared with the mother (77.0 +/- 7.8%). Similarly, a lower fraction of the dose was excreted unchanged in newborn urine (11.0 +/- 5.8%) relative to the urine of the mother (19.3 +/- 5.8%); however, significantly larger percentages were excreted as (E)-2-ene (0.11 +/- 0.04 versus 0.02 +/- 0.01%), 3-keto (11.6 +/- 3.5 versus 1. 6 +/- 0.8%), 4-hydroxy (6.1 +/- 3.2 versus 2.3 +/- 1.3%), and 5-OH VPA (2.2 +/- 0.6 versus. 0.8 +/- 0.6%). The major reason for the reduced VPA elimination in newborn lambs appears to be impaired renal excretion and glucuronidation capacity. As a result, a larger fraction of the dose is channeled to beta-oxidation and hydroxylation pathways. The beta-oxidation activities are high at birth; this may explain the high plasma concentrations of (E)-2-ene and 3-keto VPA observed in newborn lambs and human newborns exposed to VPA.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk