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Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2008 Aug;51(3):324-31. doi: 10.1016/j.yrtph.2008.05.003. Epub 2008 May 20.

Estimating meat withdrawal times in pigs exposed to melamine contaminated feed using a physiologically based pharmacokinetic model.

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Food Animal Residue Avoidance Databank, Center for Chemical Toxicology Research and Pharmacokinetics, North Carolina State University, College of Veterinary Medicine, 4700 Hillsborough St. Raleigh, NC 27606, USA.


Recently melamine was found to have contaminated the feed of multiple food production species leading to concern over the ability to establish an appropriate withdrawal interval and protect the safety of the food supply. To establish an appropriate withdrawal interval, a physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) model for melamine was developed for rats and extrapolated to pigs. The rat model underpredicted plasma concentrations, but better predicted tissue residues. Correlation values for plasma, kidney, and liver were 0.59, 0.76, and 0.73, respectively. The pig model underpredicted early plasma time points but had greater accuracy at later time points which is relevant to withdrawal times. Correlation (R(2)) between predicted and observed plasma values was 0.89 with a negative intercept of -0.76. The pig model estimated a withdrawal interval (based on kidney tissue residues) of 19.2 and 20.9h for single oral exposures of 3.0 and 5.12 mg/kg of melamine, respectively. Chronic oral dosing (3.0 and 5.12 mg/kg twice daily for 7 days) yielded withdrawal intervals of 20 and 21.3h, respectively. PBPK models, such as this one, provide evidence of the usefulness in species extrapolation over a range of dosing scenarios and can be used to protect the food supply after accidental exposure in the face of little in the target species.

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