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J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2004 Jun;309(3):1085-92. Epub 2004 Feb 10.

Pharmacokinetics of recombinant human leukemia inhibitory factor in sheep.

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Department of Pharmaceutics, Victorian College of Pharmacy, Monash University, 381 Royal Parade, Parkville, Victoria 3052, Australia.


The pharmacokinetics of recombinant human leukemia inhibitory factor (rhLIF) were investigated following i.v. and s.c. administration of a wide range of dose levels. Parallel studies were conducted where single i.v. bolus doses of 12.5, 25, 100, 250, 500, or 750 microg/kg rhLIF (n = 2) or s.c. doses of 10, 20, or 50 microg/kg rhLIF (n = 4) were administered to sheep. Blood samples were collected for up to 24 h postdosing, and the plasma concentrations of rhLIF were analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Noncompartmental analysis demonstrated an increase in the terminal elimination half-life (from 0.27 to 2.29 h) and a decrease in systemic clearance (from 5.18 to 1.09 ml/min/kg) with increasing i.v. doses of rhLIF, suggesting nonlinear pharmacokinetic behavior. A greater than proportional increase in the area under the plasma concentration-time curve with dose also indicated significantly nonlinear pharmacokinetics after s.c. administration. A mechanistic compartmental model was developed to characterize the pharmacokinetics of rhLIF. The key feature of the model accounting for the nonlinear pharmacokinetic behavior of rhLIF was high-affinity, saturable receptor binding and subsequent cellular internalization and degradation. The apparent total density of LIF cell surface receptors and receptor turnover dynamics were included in the model, along with nonspecific binding and linear elimination from the systemic circulation. The absorption of rhLIF from the s.c. injection site into the systemic circulation was characterized by a first-order absorption process via a delay compartment. The proposed model satisfactorily captured the complex pharmacokinetic profiles of rhLIF following both i.v. and s.c. administration.

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