Sex-related differences in the gastrointestinal disposition of ivermectin in the rat: P-glycoprotein involvement and itraconazole modulation

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Ivermectin (IVM), a macrocyclic lactone used as antiparasite agent, has been reported as a P-glycoprotein (P-gp) substrate. The participation of P-gp in the IVM excretion process has been previously demonstrated. Sex-related differences in the kinetic behaviour of some macrocyclic lactone compounds have been observed. The aim of this work was to characterize in-vivo the comparative gastrointestinal disposition of IVM in male and female rats. The sex-related influence on the itraconazole (ITZ) modulation of P-gp-mediated IVM intestinal transport was also assessed. Sixty Wistar rats (30 male, 30 female) received IVM alone or co-administered with ITZ. Rats were killed between 6 and 72 h after treatment and blood, gastrointestinal tissues and lumen contents were collected. IVM concentrations were determined by high performance liquid chromatography. Substantial sex-related differences in the IVM disposition kinetics were observed. Higher IVM systemic availability was observed in female rats. The ITZ-mediated modulation of the IVM disposition kinetics had a differential impact between male and female rats. Co-administration with ITZ resulted in a marked increase in the IVM concentrations in the wall tissue from different portions of the gastrointestinal tract of male rats. The presence of ITZ induced drastic sex-related changes on the P-gp-mediated IVM gastrointestinal disposition.

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