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AAPS J. 2012 Sep;14(3):543-53. doi: 10.1208/s12248-012-9366-1. Epub 2012 May 17.

Physiologically based pharmacokinetic modeling to investigate regional brain distribution kinetics in rats.

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Department of Pharmacology, Leiden/Amsterdam Center for Drug Research, Leiden, The Netherlands.


One of the major challenges in the development of central nervous system (CNS)-targeted drugs is predicting CNS exposure in human from preclinical data. In this study, we present a methodology to investigate brain disposition in rats using a physiologically based modeling approach aiming at improving the prediction of human brain exposure. We specifically focused on quantifying regional diffusion and fluid flow processes within the brain. Acetaminophen was used as a test compound as it is not subjected to active transport processes. Microdialysis probes were implanted in striatum, for sampling brain extracellular fluid (ECF) concentrations, and in lateral ventricle (LV) and cisterna magna (CM), for sampling cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) concentrations. Serial blood samples were taken in parallel. These data, in addition to physiological parameters from literature, were used to develop a physiologically based model to describe the regional brain pharmacokinetics of acetaminophen. The concentration-time profiles of brain ECF, CSF(LV), and CSF(CM) indicate a rapid equilibrium with plasma. However, brain ECF concentrations are on average fourfold higher than CSF concentrations, with average brain-to-plasma AUC(0-240) ratios of 121%, 28%, and 35% for brain ECF, CSF(LV), and CSF(CM), respectively. It is concluded that for acetaminophen, a model compound for passive transport into, within, and out of the brain, differences exist between the brain ECF and the CSF pharmacokinetics. The physiologically based pharmacokinetic modeling approach is important, as it allowed the prediction of human brain ECF exposure on the basis of human CSF concentrations.

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