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Life Sci. 2000 Sep 1;67(15):1847-57.

Distribution of [14C]suramin in tissues of male rats following a single intravenous dose.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacokinetics, Dynamics and Metabolism, Parke Davis Pharmaceutical Research Division, Warner Lambert Company, Ann Arbor, MI 48105, USA. william.mcnally@wl.com



Suramin has been shown to have efficacy in treatment of prostate cancer. In the present study we evaluated distribution of [14C]suramin in tissues over time following a single intravenous dose.


Male rats were given a single IV dose of 300 mg/kg [14C]suramin and sacrificed at 1 or 6 hours, or at 1, 7, 14, 28, 56, or 84 days postdose. Radioactivity remaining in tissues was measured by quantitative whole body autoradiography.


At one hour highest tissue activity was found in blood vessel walls and caecum, followed by lung, blood, skin, preputial, thyroid, brown fat, heart, kidney, lymph nodes, liver, salivary, adrenal, Harder's and lacrimal glands, prostate, and spleen. Considerable activity was present in membranes surrounding muscle groups, bone and other organs. Relatively low activity was found in brain tissue although persistent concentration was evident in choroid plexus. High levels were present in bladder and caecum contents. Activity declined in blood but continued to increase in many tissues at later time points. Kidney reached maximum levels at 7 days postdose and retained concentration considerably higher than other tissues over the course of the study. Concentrations in tissues were persistent and considerable activity remained at 84 days postdose. Terminal elimination half life in tissues was prolonged, approximately 39 days in blood and 91 and 102 days in kidney and spleen, respectively. Uptake in prostate was highest in membranous structures separating secretory lobules.


Suramin is widely distributed to tissues and appears to have particular affinity for boundary membranes surrounding organs and other structural tissue elements, possibly due to uptake by glycosaminoglycans. Antitumor activity may be related to inhibition of growth factors associated with these elements.

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