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Drug Metab Dispos. 2019 Jun;47(6):665-672. doi: 10.1124/dmd.118.085951. Epub 2019 Mar 25.

Intracellular and Intraorgan Concentrations of Small Molecule Drugs: Theory, Uncertainties in Infectious Diseases and Oncology, and Promise.

Author information

1
4 The Maltings, Walmer, Kent, United Kingdom (D.A.S.); and Centre for Applied Pharmacokinetic Research, Manchester Pharmacy School, University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom (M.R.) dennissmith55009@gmail.com.
2
4 The Maltings, Walmer, Kent, United Kingdom (D.A.S.); and Centre for Applied Pharmacokinetic Research, Manchester Pharmacy School, University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom (M.R.).

Abstract

The distribution of a drug within the body should be considered as involving movement of unbound drug between the various aqueous spaces of the body. At true steady state, even for a compound of restricted lipoidal permeability, unbound concentrations in all aqueous compartments (blood, extracellular, and intracellular) are considered identical, unless a compartment has a clearance/transport process. In contrast, total drug concentrations may differ greatly, reflecting binding or partitioning into constituents of each compartment. For most highly lipid permeable drugs, this uniform unbound concentration is expected to apply. However, many compounds have restricted lipoidal permeability and are subjected to transport/clearance processes causing a gradient between intracellular and extracellular unbound concentrations even at steady state. Additional concerns arise where the drug target resides in a site of limited vascularity. Many misleading assumptions about drug concentrations and access to drug targets are based on total drug. Correction, if made, is usually by measuring tissue binding, but this is limited by the lack of homogenicity of the organ or compartment. Rather than looking for technology to measure the unbound concentration it may be better to focus on designing high lipoidal permeable molecules with a high chance of achieving a uniform unbound drug concentration. It is hoped this paper will stimulate greater understanding of the path from circulation to cell interior, and thereby in part avoid or minimize the need to provide the experimentally very determining, and sometimes still questionable, answer to this problem.

PMID:
30910784
DOI:
10.1124/dmd.118.085951

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