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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1975 Dec;8(6):713-20.

Relation between lipophilicity and pharmacological behavior of minocycline, doxycycline, tetracycline, and oxytetracycline in dogs.


Four tetracyclines were studied in dogs to determine the relation between their lipophilicity and various other pharmacological characteristics. Lipid solubility correlated inversely with the mean concentration of drug in arterial plasma and renal uptake and excretion, and directly with the biliary concentration gradient (level in bile/level of free drug in serum). Only the more lipophilic congeners minocycline and doxycycline passed the blood-brain and blood-ocular barriers in detectable concentrations. Mean levels of minocycline in the brain exceeded those of doxycycline by almost threefold; the difference was of borderline statistical significance (P = 0.05 to 0.1). Lipophilicity correlated inversely with the concentration of antibiotic in renal medulla but not in renal cortex or in the liver. When intestinal loops containing saline, milk, or 10% Gelusil were studied, the only combination exhibiting striking intraluminal accumulation was doxycycline in milk. These results indicate that lipophilicity correlates with many, but not all, of the transport characteristics of tetracycline antibiotics.

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