The transport of a hepatoprotective agent, isopropryl 2-(l-3-dithiethane-2-ylidene)-2[N(4-methyl-thiazole-2-yl) carbamoyl] acetate (YH439), across Caco-2 cell monolayers
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Isopropryl 2-(1-3-dithiethane-2-ylidene)-2[N-(4-methyl-thiazole-2-yl) carbamoyl] acetate (YH439) is currently under phase II clinical trials by the Yuhan Research Center for use as a hepatoprotective agent. Unfortunately, the oral bioavailbility of YH439, which is sparingly soluble in water (i.e., 0.3μg/ml or 0.91μM at room temperature), reportedly, is negligible regardless of the dose administered to rats in the 10-300 mg/kg range. The bioavailability of the compound increased up to 24%, when administered in the form of a micellar solution (700 μg/ml or 2.1 mM for YH439) at a dose of 10 mg/kg, suggesting that its limited solubility is associated with its negligible bioavailability. In order to obtain additional information concerning the bioavailability of YH439, the mechanism(s) involved in gastrointestinal (GI) absorption were investigated in the present study. For this purpose, the transport of YH430 across a Caco-2 cell monolayer was measured in a Transwell(r). A permeability of 4.07×10-5 cm/s was obtained for the absorptive (i.e., apical to basolateral direction) transport of 0.42 μM YH439, implicating that the in vivo GI absorption is nearly complete. The absorptive transport exhibited a slight concentration-dependency with an intrinsic clearance (CLi) of 0.38 μL/cm2/sec, which accounted for 28.1% of the total intrinsic clearance (i.e., CLi plus the intrinsic clearance for the linear component) of the transport. Thus, saturation of the absorption process appears to be a minor factor in limiting the bioavailability of the compound. The apparent permeability of YH439 from the basolateral to the apical direction (i.e., efflux, 6.67×10-5 cm/s) was comparable to that for absorptive transport, but, interestingly, a more distinct concentration-dependency was observed for this transport. However, the efflux does not appear to influence the bioavailability of the compound, as evidenced by the sufficiently high permeability in the absorption direction. Rather, a reportedly extensive first-pass hepatic metabolism appears to be a principal factor in limiting the bioavailability. In this respect, reducing the first-pass metabolism by some means would lead to a higher bioavailability of the compound. Thus, elevation of the absorption rate of YH439 becomes a necessity. From a practical point of view, increasing the concentration of YH439 in the GI fluid appears to be a feasible way to increase the absorption rate, because the compound is primarily absorbed via a linear mechanism. In summary, the solubilization of YH439, as previously demonstrated for a micellar solution of the compound, appears to be a practical way to increase the oral bioavailability of YH439.
Key wordsYH439 Caco-2 cells Transport Bioavailability Saturation Solubilization
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