Development of a PBPK model of thiocyanate in rats with an extrapolation to humans: A computational study to quantify the mechanism of action of thiocyanate kinetics in thyroid

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Abstract

Thyroid homeostasis can be disturbed due to thiocyanate exposure from the diet or tobacco smoke. Thiocyanate inhibits both thyroidal uptake of iodide, via the sodium-iodide symporter (NIS), and thyroid hormone (TH) synthesis in the thyroid, via thyroid peroxidase (TPO), but the mode of action of thiocyanate is poorly quantified in the literature. The characterization of the link between intra-thyroidal thiocyanate concentrations and dose of exposure is crucial for assessing the risk of thyroid perturbations due to thiocyanate exposure. We developed a PBPK model for thiocyanate that describes its kinetics in the whole-body up to daily doses of 0.15 mmol/kg, with a mechanistic description of the thyroidal kinetics including NIS, passive diffusion, and TPO. The model was calibrated in a Bayesian framework using published studies in rats. Goodness-of-fit was satisfactory, especially for intra-thyroidal thiocyanate concentrations. Thiocyanate kinetic processes were quantified in vivo, including the metabolic clearance by TPO. The passive diffusion rate was found to be greater than NIS-mediated uptake rate. The model captured the dose-dependent kinetics of thiocyanate after acute and chronic exposures. Model behavior was evaluated using a Morris screening test. The distribution of thiocyanate into the thyroid was found to be determined primarily by the partition coefficient, followed by NIS and passive diffusion; the impact of the latter two mechanisms appears to increase at very low doses. Extrapolation to humans resulted in good predictions of thiocyanate kinetics during chronic exposure. The developed PBPK model can be used in risk assessment to quantify dose-response effects of thiocyanate on TH.

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