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J Pharm Sci. 1995 Nov;84(11):1374-8.

Utility of pharmacodynamic measures for assessing the oral bioavailability of peptides. 1. Administration of recombinant salmon calcitonin in rats.

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Department of Pharmaceutics, College of Pharmacy, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ 08855-0789, USA.


Salmon calcitonin (sCT) is a therapeutic peptide used in the treatment of Paget's Disease, postmenopausal osteoporosis, and hypercalcemia due to malignancy. In this study, recombinant sCT (rsCT) was administered intravenously (iv), subcutaneously (sc), and intraduodenally (id.) in rats to evaluate pharmacodynamic (PD) response as a measure of rsCT bioavailability (F) and to test the feasibility of delivering rsCT orally. rsCT pharmacokinetics were linear throughout the range of iv and sc doses studied. Following sc administration, F ranged from 11.2% to 23.1% and was linear. The absorption of rsCT after id. administration was low (0.022%); however, a significant lowering of serum calcium concentrations was observed. Serum calcium lowering was nonlinear and saturable after sc administration with the minimum dose required for maximum calcium lowering (Dmin/max) equal to 10.2 ng and a maximal response of 426.8 mg min/dL. Using Dmin/max as the reference dose, absolute Fs were recalculated using PD response after id. administration of 1 and 2 mg of rsCT and were 0.040% and 0.029%, respectively. Substantial overestimates of F were obtained when the reference dose was not properly selected. While the absorption of rsCT was low, the significant lowering of serum calcium levels suggests that oral delivery of sCT is feasible. The results of these studies also suggest that PD response is useful in assessing the oral bioavailability of peptides; however, when PD response is saturable, as is the case for rsCT, the reference dose should be carefully selected in order to avoid overestimates of F.

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