Purpose: Transport of the hepatobiliary scintigraphy agent Tc-99m mebrofenin (MEB) was characterized and simulation studies were conducted to examine the effects of altered hepatic transport on MEB pharmacokinetics in humans.
Methods: MEB transport was investigated in Xenopus laevis oocytes expressing OATP1B1 or OATP1B3, and in membrane vesicles prepared from HEK293 cells transfected with MRP2 or MRP3. A pharmacokinetic model was developed based on blood, urine and bile concentration-time profiles obtained in healthy humans, and the effect of changes in hepatic uptake and/or excretion associated with disease states (hyperbilirubinemia and cholestasis) on MEB disposition was simulated.
Results: MEB (80 pM) transport by OATP1B1 and OATP1B3 was inhibited by rifampicin (50 microM) to 10% and 4% of control, respectively. MEB (0.4 nM) transport by MRP2 was inhibited to 12% of control by MK571 (50 microM); MRP3-mediated transport was inhibited to 5% of control by estradiol-17-beta-glucuronide (100 microM). A two-compartment model described MEB (2.5 mCi) systemic disposition in humans (systemic clearance = 16.2 +/- 2.7 ml min(-1) kg(-1)); biliary excretion was the predominant route of hepatic elimination (efflux rate constants ratio canalicular/sinusoidal = 3.4 +/- 0.8). Based on simulations, altered hepatic transport markedly influenced MEB systemic and hepatic exposure.
Conclusions: MEB may be a useful probe to assess how altered hepatic function at the transport level modulates hepatobiliary drug disposition.