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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2010 Jun;54(6):2540-8. doi: 10.1128/AAC.01723-09. Epub 2010 Apr 12.

Cellular pharmacokinetics of the novel biaryloxazolidinone radezolid in phagocytic cells: studies with macrophages and polymorphonuclear neutrophils.

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Unité de Pharmacologie cellulaire et moléculaire, Université catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium.


Radezolid (RX-1741) is the first biaryloxazolidinone in clinical development. It shows improved activity, including against linezolid-resistant strains. Radezolid differs from linezolid by the presence of a biaryl spacer and of a heteroaryl side chain, which increases the ionization and hydrophilicity of the molecule at physiological pH and confers to it a dibasic character. The aim of this study was to determine the accumulation and subcellular distribution of radezolid in phagocytic cells and to decipher the underlying mechanisms. In THP-1 human macrophages, J774 mouse macrophages, and human polymorphonuclear neutrophils, radezolid accumulated rapidly and reversibly (half-lives of approximately 6 min and 9 min for uptake and efflux, respectively) to reach, at equilibrium, a cellular concentration 11-fold higher than the extracellular one. This process was concentration and energy independent but pH dependent (accumulation was reduced to 20 to 30% of control values for cells in medium at a pH of <6 or in the presence of monensin, which collapses pH gradients between the extracellular and intracellular compartments). The accumulation at equilibrium was not affected by efflux pump inhibitors (verapamil and gemfibrozil) and was markedly reduced at 4 degrees C but was further increased in medium with low serum content. Subcellular fractionation studies demonstrated a dual subcellular distribution for radezolid, with approximately 60% of the drug colocalizing to the cytosol and approximately 40% to the lysosomes, with no specific association with mitochondria. These observations are compatible with a mechanism of transmembrane diffusion of the free fraction and partial segregation of radezolid in lysosomes by proton trapping, as previously described for macrolides.

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