, Volume 38, Issue 6, pp 499-507

In vivo microdialysis to characterize drug transport in brain tumors: analysis of methotrexate uptake in rat glioma-2 (RG-2)-Bearing rats

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 Brain microdialysis was applied to sample free methotrexate (MTX) concentrations in brain extracellular fluid of normal and RG-2 glioma-bearing rats. All animals received 50 mg/kg of MTX intraarterially following which serial blood and interstitial fluid samples were collected for 3 h and measured for MTX by an HPLC assay. Retrodialysis was used to estimate the in vivo recovery of MTX from brain. A linear two-compartment model was fitted to the plasma MTX concentration-time data in both the normal and RG-2 groups. The mean total body clearance and volume of distribution at steady state of MTX varied from 0.90±0.3 to 0.24±0.02 l h-1 kg-1 (P<0.05) and from 0.58±0.24 to 0.21±0.16 l kg-1 (P<0.05) in control and tumor rats, respectively. The significant reductions in clearance and volume of distribution at steady-state were attributed in part to a cachectic state in the RG-2 animals in which total body water was reduced. The mean MTX area under the interstitial fluid concentration-time curve (AUC) was 171.6±69.14 μg min ml-1(control) and 583.5±296.7 μg min ml-1 (brain tumor-bearing rats). The significantly higher AUC values obtained with RG-2 rats compared with control rats may have resulted from high plasma MTX concentrations and a more permeable blood–tumor barrier (BTB). A hybrid physiologically based pharmacokinetic model was used to characterize the mechanisms responsible for the high MTX brain tumor concentrations. In conclusion, a microdialysis technique was successfully utilized to examine the extracellular uptake of MTX in brain. This technique can be a powerful tool to evaluate intracerebral drug kinetics and the delivery of drugs to brain tumors.

Received: 11 July 1995/Accepted: 1 February 1996