Impact of capillary flow hydrodynamics on carrier-mediated transport of opioid derivatives at the blood-brain barrier, based onpH-dependent Michaelis-Menten and Crone-Renkin analyses

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Most studies of blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability and transport are conducted at a single pH, but more detailed information can be revealed by using multiple pH values. A pH-dependent biophysical model was applied to the mechanistic analysis of published pH-dependent BBB luminal uptake data from three opioid derivatives in rat: pentazocine (Suzuki et al., 2002a, 2002b), naloxone (Suzuki et al., 2010a), and oxycodone (Okura et al., 2008). Two types of data were processed: in situ brain perfusion (ISBP) and brain uptake index (BUI). The published perfusion data were converted to apparent luminal permeability values, Papp, and analyzed by the pCEL-X program (Yusof et al., 2014), using the pH-dependent Crone-Renkin equation (pH-CRE) to determine the impact of cerebrovascular flow on the Michaelis-Menten transport parameters (Avdeef and Sun, 2011). For oxycodone, the ISBP data had been measured at pH 7.4 and 8.4. The present analysis indicates a 7-fold lower value of the cerebrovascular flow velocity, Fpf, than that expected in the original study. From the pyrilamine-inhibited data, the flow-corrected passive intrinsic permeability value was determined to be P0 = 398 × 10− 6 cm·s− 1. The uptake data indicate that the neutral form of oxycodone is affected by a transporter at pH 8.4. The extent of the cation uptake was less certain from the available data. For pentazocine, the brain uptake by the BUI method had been measured at pH 5.5, 6.5, and 7.4, in a concentration range 0.1–40 mM. Under similar conditions, ISBP data were also available. The pH-CRE determined values of Fpf from both methods were nearly the same, and were smaller than the expected value in the original publication. The transport of the cationic pentazocine was not fully saturated at pH 5.5 at 40 mM. The transport of the neutral species at pH 7.4 appeared to reach saturation at 40 mM pentazocine concentration, but not at 12 mM. In the case of naloxone, a pH-dependent Michaelis-Menten equation (pH-MME) analysis of the data indicated a smooth sigmoidal transition from a higher capacity uptake process affecting cationic naloxone (pH 5.0–7.0) to a lower capacity uptake process affecting the neutral drug (pH 8.0–8.5), with cross-over point near pH 7.4. Evidently, measurements at multiple pH values can reveal important information about both cerebrovascular flow and BBB transport kinetics.Graphical abstract

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