In silico modeling of non-linear drug absorption for the P-gp substrate talinolol and of consequences for the resulting pharmacodynamic effect

Pharm Res. 2006 Aug;23(8):1712-20. doi: 10.1007/s11095-006-9020-7.


Purpose: The aim of the present work was to demonstrate P-glycoprotein's involvement in the non-linear talinolol pharmacokinetics using an advanced compartment and transit model (ACAT) and to compare the results predicted from the model to the finding of a phase I dose escalation study with oral talinolol doses increasing from 25 to 400 mg.

Materials and methods: Besides minimum input parameters for the compound (pKa(s), solubility at one or more pH's, Peff, doses, formulation, diffusivity), physiological and pharmacokinetic properties, transporter data are included in these predictions. The simulations assumed higher expression levels in lower gastrointestinal regions, in particular in the colon, which is in accordance with the results of intestinal rat perfusion studies and intestinal distribution data from rats, catfishes, micropigs and humans reported in the literature. Optimized values for P-glycoprotein (P-gp) Km and Vmax were used for the final simulation results and for a stochastic virtual trial with 12 patients.

Results: Talinolol, a P-gp substrate, exhibits non-linear dose AUC relationship after administration of 25, 50, 100 and 400 mg immediate-release tablets. This dose dependency is due to a decrease of efflux transport caused by saturation of P-gp by talinolol. It was found that oral bioavailability increases after administration of higher doses of talinolol. The predicted bioavailability of the p.o. 25, 50, 100 and 400 mg doses of talinolol was 64, 76, 85, 94%, respectively. Pharmacokinetic parameters (AUC, Cmax) from in silico simulations are within acceptable range comparing with data, observed in vivo. However, the in vitro value of Km for talinolol's interactions with P-gp could not be used in the simulation and still reproduce the observed non-linear dose dependence. For each of the four doses, GastroPlus was used to model pharmacodynamic (PD) response and to optimize the values of CLe, Emax, and EC5o with the effect compartment linked indirectly to the central compartment. For all simulations, EC50 was 114 nM and E0 was 83 bpm.

Conclusion: Comparison between the results of the in vivo study and the in silico simulations determined the quality and reliability of the in silico predictions and demonstrate the simulation of dose dependent absorption. In contrast to previous simulation work for the non-linear dose dependence of interaction with intestinal transporters or enterocyte metabolism, optimized Km and Vmax values were required to reproduce the clinically observed non-linear dose dependence. The model developed may be useful in the prediction of absorption of other P-gp substrates including pharmacodynamic consequences.

MeSH terms

  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B, Member 1 / metabolism*
  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists / metabolism*
  • Area Under Curve
  • Bile / metabolism
  • Calcium Channel Blockers / pharmacology
  • Computer Simulation
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Intestinal Absorption
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Liver Circulation
  • Microcomputers
  • Nonlinear Dynamics
  • Perfusion
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / metabolism*
  • Propanolamines / metabolism*
  • Sterol O-Acyltransferase / metabolism
  • Verapamil / pharmacology


  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B, Member 1
  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists
  • Calcium Channel Blockers
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations
  • Propanolamines
  • talinolol
  • Verapamil
  • Sterol O-Acyltransferase