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J Pharmacokinet Biopharm. 1997 Jun;25(3):277-312.

Quantitative structure-pharmacokinetics relationships: I. Development of a whole-body physiologically based model to characterize changes in pharmacokinetics across a homologous series of barbiturates in the rat.

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Astra Charnwood, Loughborough, Leics, United Kingdom.

Erratum in

  • J Pharmacokinet Biopharm 1998 Feb;26(1):131.


As part of an overall program to develop a framework for evaluating the contribution of structural and physicochemical properties to pharmacokinetics, the distribution kinetics of nine 5-n-alkyl-5-ethyl barbituric acids in arterial blood and 14 tissues (lung, liver, kidney, stomach, pancreas, spleen, gut, muscle, adipose, skin, bone, heart, brain, testes) was examined after i.v. bolus administration in rats. The barbituric acids studied form a true homologous series; therefore any differences in pharmacokinetics, noted between congeners, can be directly linked to the increase in lipophilicity, resulting from the addition of a methylene group. A whole-body physiologically based pharmacokinetic model has been developed, assuming most of the tissues to be well-stirred compartments. Brain and testes, in which distribution for the lower homologues was permeability rate-limited, were represented by two compartments. For each homologue, the model parameters have been optimized, using the tissue concentration-time data. The initial distribution processes in the system were very rapid, making it quite stiff, and essentially over before the first samples were taken. A progressively increasing redistribution from lean tissues into adipose on ascending the homologous series was observed, characterized by a tendency for a progressive decrease in the magnitude of the concentration-time profiles for some of the lean and well-perfused tissues, an increase in the adipose concentration-time profile, and an increase in the time to reach the maximum adipose concentration. A shift from permeability rate limitation to perfusion rate limitation of the distribution processes for brain and testes, as well as an increase in the intrinsic hepatic clearance and decrease in the renal clearance with the increase of lipophilicity of the homologues, were quantified. An increase in the total unbound volume of distribution on ascending the homologous series was also observed. Muscle was found to be the major drug depot at steady state, accounting for approximately 50% of the total unbound volume of distribution, regardless of the lipophilicity of the homologue; the unbound volume of distribution of adipose increases more than 10-fold with the increase of lipophilicity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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