Development of a physiologically based pharmacokinetic model of paraquat

Development of a physiologically based pharmacokinetic model of paraquat

Manupat LohitnavyArnon ChitsakhonKritsada JomprasertOrnrat LohitnavyBrad Reisfeld


Background: Paraquat (N, N’-dimethyl-4,4′-bipyridium dichloride) is a potent and widely used herbicide in agricultural countries, including Thailand. The presence of this chemical in the body can lead to toxic effects in the liver, kidney, and lung. Pulmonary toxicity has been identified as the main cause of acute toxicity in animals and humans. Chronic exposure to paraquat is associated with Parkinson’s disease in humans. Paraquat is transported into the lungs by neutral amino acid transporter.

Objective: Therefore, a physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) model of paraquat was developed with a description of the protein transporter mechanism.

Methods: To develop a PBPK model of paraquat, a pharmacokinetic study of paraquat in rats was selected from the ThaiLIS and Pubmed database. The selected study contained tissue-specific concentration-time course information such as paraquat concentration levels in liver, kidney and lung. Physiologic parameters were acquired from the literature or determined using a Markov-Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) technique. The developed PBPK model consisted of 5 organ compartments (i.e. kidney, liver, slowly perfused organs, richly perfuse organs and lung), featuring an incorporation of neutral amino acid transporter in the lung.

Results and Conclusion: Our model simulations could explain the data from the literature and adequately describe pharmacokinetics of paraquat in the rats. This developed PBPK model may be able help in understanding of paraquat-induced Parkinson’s disease as well as in risk assessment of paraquat.

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