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Drug Metab Dispos. 1996 Dec;24(12):1298-306.

Sex-dependent pharmacokinetics of indinavir: in vivo and in vitro evidence.

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  • 1Drug Metabolism I, Merck Reserch Laboratories, West Point, PA 19486, USA.


Indinavir, a potent and specific inhibitor of human immunodeficiency virus protease, is used for the treatment of AIDS. This study was designed to investigate the sex-related differences in kinetics and metabolism of indinavir in rats, dogs, and monkeys to support the toxicity studies. When given intravenously, indinavir was cleared rapidly in a polyphasic manner in all species. Indinavir exhibited significant differences in elimination kinetics among species. The rat had the highest plasma clearance (CLp; 41-89 ml/min/kg), and the dog had the lowest CLp (15-26 ml/min/kg), with the monkey exhibiting an intermediate value (36-39 ml/min/kg). Furthermore, marked sex-related differences in CLp were observed in rats and dogs, but not in monkeys. The CLp was 89 ml/min/kg for male rats and 41 ml/min/kg for female rats. In contrast to rats, female dogs cleared indinavir more rapidly than male dogs; the CLp was 26 ml/min/kg for female dogs and 15 ml/min/kg for male dogs. Consistent with the in vivo observations, hepatic microsomes from male rats had a substantially higher metabolizing activity toward indinavir than that from females, whereas liver microsomes from female dogs catalyzed the drug at a higher rate than that from male dogs. Qualitatively, in vitro metabolic profiles of indinavir were similar among species and between male and female animals. Studies with an anti-rat cytochrome P450 (CYP) 3A1 antibody pointed to the probable involvement of isoforms in the CYP3A subfamily in the oxidative metabolism of indinavir in both males and females of all species. The functional activity of CYP3A measured by the formation of testosterone 6beta-hydroxylation and immunoblot analysis of the level of CYP3A proteins strongly suggested that gender differences in the levels of CYP3A isoforms may contribute to the observed sex-related differences in indinavir metabolism in rats and dogs.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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