Binding to dipeptidyl peptidase-4 determines the disposition of linagliptin (BI 1356)--investigations in DPP-4 deficient and wildtype rats

Biopharm Drug Dispos. 2009 Nov;30(8):422-36. doi: 10.1002/bdd.676.


Linagliptin (BI 1356) is a novel dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitor in clinical development for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. It exhibits non-linear pharmacokinetics and shows concentration-dependent plasma protein binding to its target, DPP-4. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of saturable binding of linagliptin to plasma and tissue DPP-4 by comparing the pharmacokinetics of linagliptin in wildtype and DPP-4 deficient Fischer rats using non-compartmental and model-based data analysis. The non-compartmental analysis revealed a significantly reduced AUC in DPP-4 deficient rats compared with wildtype rats when single intravenous doses <or=1 mg/kg were administered, but the exposure was similar in both strains at higher doses. The terminal half-lives were significantly shorter in DPP-4 deficient rats compared with wildtype rats. For doses <or=1 mg/kg, DPP-4 deficient rats exhibited linear pharmacokinetics, whereas the pharmacokinetics of wildtype rats was non-linear. In the model-based analysis these differences could be accounted for by assuming concentration-dependent protein binding in the central and one peripheral compartment in wildtype rats. In the model, disposition parameters for unbound linagliptin were assumed to be identical in both rat strains. Simulations with different doses of linagliptin and different concentrations of binding sites further illustrated that the interdependence of linagliptin and DPP-4 in plasma and in the periphery has a major influence on the disposition of linagliptin in wildtype rats. In conclusion, the study showed that the concentration-dependent binding of linagliptin to its target DPP-4 has a major impact on the plasma pharmacokinetics of linagliptin.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Binding Sites
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / enzymology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / metabolism
  • Dipeptidyl Peptidase 4 / blood*
  • Dipeptidyl-Peptidase IV Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Dipeptidyl-Peptidases and Tripeptidyl-Peptidases / blood*
  • Linagliptin
  • Purines / pharmacology*
  • Quinazolines / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred F344


  • Dipeptidyl-Peptidase IV Inhibitors
  • Purines
  • Quinazolines
  • Linagliptin
  • Dipeptidyl-Peptidases and Tripeptidyl-Peptidases
  • Dipeptidyl Peptidase 4