Use of uptake intrinsic clearance from attached rat hepatocytes to predict hepatic clearance for poorly permeable compounds

Xenobiotica. 2012 Sep;42(9):830-40. doi: 10.3109/00498254.2012.667847. Epub 2012 Mar 22.


We previously reported that the accuracy of clearance (CL) prediction could be differentiated by permeability. CL was drastically under-predicted by in vitro metabolic intrinsic clearance (CL(int)) for compounds with low permeability (<5 × 10(-6) cm/s). We determined apparent uptake CL(int) by measuring initial disappearance from medium using attached rat hepatocytes and metabolic CL(int) by measuring parent depletion in suspended rat hepatocytes (cells and medium). Uptake and metabolic CL(int) were comparable for highly permeable metabolic marker compounds. In contrast, uptake CL(int) was 3- to 40-fold higher than metabolic CL(int) for rosuvastatin, bosentan, and 15 proprietary compounds, which had low permeability, suggesting that uptake could be a rate-determining step in hepatic elimination for these poorly permeable compounds. The prediction of hepatic CL was improved significantly when using uptake CL(int) for the compounds with low permeability. The average fold error was 2.2 and 6, as opposed to >11 and >47 by metabolic CL(int), with and without applying a scaling factor of 4, respectively. Uptake CL(int) from attached hepatocytes can be used as an alternative approach to predict hepatic clearance and to understand the significance of hepatic uptake in elimination in an early drug discovery setting.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bosentan
  • Capillary Permeability / physiology*
  • Chromatography, Liquid
  • Cyclosporine / pharmacology
  • Dogs
  • Fluorobenzenes / pharmacokinetics
  • Hepatocytes / physiology*
  • Madin Darby Canine Kidney Cells
  • Male
  • Metabolic Clearance Rate / physiology*
  • Pyrimidines / pharmacokinetics
  • Quinidine / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Rifampin / pharmacology
  • Rosuvastatin Calcium
  • Sulfonamides / pharmacokinetics
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry
  • Verapamil / pharmacokinetics
  • Xenobiotics / metabolism
  • Xenobiotics / pharmacokinetics*


  • Fluorobenzenes
  • Pyrimidines
  • Sulfonamides
  • Xenobiotics
  • Cyclosporine
  • Rosuvastatin Calcium
  • Verapamil
  • Quinidine
  • Bosentan
  • Rifampin