Effect of a diffusional barrier to a metabolite across hepatocytes on its kinetics in “enzyme-distributed” models: A computer-aided simulation study

  • Seiji Miyauchi
  • Yuichi Sugiyama
  • Hitoshi Sato
  • Yasufumi Sawada
  • Tatsuji Iga
  • Manabu Hanano


The effect of a diffusional barrier to a metabolite between the blood and hepatocytes on elimination kinetics of formed and preformed metabolites was predicted under various enzymic distributions in the liver by computer- aided simulation. Sequential metabolism by which the primary metabolite (MI) is generated from the parent drug (D) and further metabolized to the terminal metabolite (MII) by enzymes A and B, respectively, was chosen for the simulation. Moreover, four models of enzymic distribution patterns were defined with regard to the hepatic blood flow path. The extraction ratios for the preformed and formed metabolites (designated as Em and Ep→m, respectively) were simulated by varying both the average intrinsic clearance of enzyme B (\(\overline {CL_{int,B} }\)) and the permeability of hepatocytes for MI (\(\overline {P_m }\)), while keeping the average intrinsic clearance of enzyme A (\(\overline {CL_{int,A} }\)) equal to hepatic blood flow (Q). When a rapid equilibrium of MI between the blood and hepatocytes held, i.e.,\(\overline {P_m }\) was large relative to Q, Em was equal to or higher than Ep→m for all models, as previously shown by Pang and Stillwell. By contrast, it was found that when a diffusional barrier for MI existed, i.e.,\(\overline {P_m }\) was small relative to Q, Em was equal to or lower than Ep→m. Furthermore, it was observed that the smaller\(\overline {P_m }\) became, the larger the difference between Em and Ep→m became. We further simulated the effect of the intrinsic clearance (\(\overline {CL_{int,C} }\)) for a metabolic pathway, which competes for that by enzyme A. on the Epm value. In the model assuming even distribution of all the enzymes along the flow path, irrespective of the\(\overline {CL_{int,C} }\) value, a similar effect of\(\overline {P_m }\) on Ep→m was observed when the\(\overline {P_m }\) value was relatively small (\(\overline {P_m }< Q\)). By contrast, in the case of uneven enzymic distributions of enzymes A and B, the effect of the\(\overline {CL_{int,C} }\) value on the relationship between Pm and Ep→m occurred to some extent. From these simulations, it was concluded that lower membrane permeability (\(\overline {P_m }\)) both diminishes the entry of preformed metabolite into the hepatocytes and accelerates the removal of intracellularly formed metabolite (through sequential metabolism) by diminishing its efflux, yielding lower Em than Ep→m. When\(\overline {P_m }\) becomes small (\(\overline {P_m }< 1/10Q\)), these mechanisms for lower Em than Ep→m predominate over other mechanisms such as the presence of a competing metabolic route and uneven distribution of enzymes.

Key words

diffusional barrier hepatic extraction enzyme-distributed model metabolite kinetics 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Seiji Miyauchi
    • 1
  • Yuichi Sugiyama
    • 1
  • Hitoshi Sato
    • 1
  • Yasufumi Sawada
    • 1
  • Tatsuji Iga
    • 1
  • Manabu Hanano
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Pharmaceutical SciencesUniversity of TokyoTokyoJapan

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