A mechanistic framework for in vitro-in vivo extrapolation of liver membrane transporters: prediction of drug-drug interaction between rosuvastatin and cyclosporine

Clin Pharmacokinet. 2014 Jan;53(1):73-87. doi: 10.1007/s40262-013-0097-y.


Background and objectives: The interplay between liver metabolising enzymes and transporters is a complex process involving system-related parameters such as liver blood perfusion as well as drug attributes including protein and lipid binding, ionisation, relative magnitude of passive and active permeation. Metabolism- and/or transporter-mediated drug-drug interactions (mDDIs and tDDIs) add to the complexity of this interplay. Thus, gaining meaningful insight into the impact of each element on the disposition of a drug and accurately predicting drug-drug interactions becomes very challenging. To address this, an in vitro-in vivo extrapolation (IVIVE)-linked mechanistic physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) framework for modelling liver transporters and their interplay with liver metabolising enzymes has been developed and implemented within the Simcyp Simulator(®).

Methods: In this article an IVIVE technique for liver transporters is described and a full-body PBPK model is developed. Passive and active (saturable) transport at both liver sinusoidal and canalicular membranes are accounted for and the impact of binding and ionisation processes is considered. The model also accommodates tDDIs involving inhibition of multiple transporters. Integrating prior in vitro information on the metabolism and transporter kinetics of rosuvastatin (organic-anion transporting polypeptides OATP1B1, OAT1B3 and OATP2B1, sodium-dependent taurocholate co-transporting polypeptide [NTCP] and breast cancer resistance protein [BCRP]) with one clinical dataset, the PBPK model was used to simulate the drug disposition of rosuvastatin for 11 reported studies that had not been used for development of the rosuvastatin model.

Results: The simulated area under the plasma concentration-time curve (AUC), maximum concentration (C max) and the time to reach C max (t max) values of rosuvastatin over the dose range of 10-80 mg, were within 2-fold of the observed data. Subsequently, the validated model was used to investigate the impact of coadministration of cyclosporine (ciclosporin), an inhibitor of OATPs, BCRP and NTCP, on the exposure of rosuvastatin in healthy volunteers.

Conclusion: The results show the utility of the model to integrate a wide range of in vitro and in vivo data and simulate the outcome of clinical studies, with implications for their design.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Caco-2 Cells
  • Cyclosporine / administration & dosage
  • Cyclosporine / blood
  • Cyclosporine / pharmacokinetics*
  • Drug Interactions
  • Female
  • Fluorobenzenes / administration & dosage
  • Fluorobenzenes / blood
  • Fluorobenzenes / pharmacokinetics*
  • Humans
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Membrane Transport Proteins / metabolism*
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Biological*
  • Pyrimidines / administration & dosage
  • Pyrimidines / blood
  • Pyrimidines / pharmacokinetics*
  • Rosuvastatin Calcium
  • Sulfonamides / administration & dosage
  • Sulfonamides / blood
  • Sulfonamides / pharmacokinetics*
  • Young Adult


  • Fluorobenzenes
  • Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Pyrimidines
  • Sulfonamides
  • Cyclosporine
  • Rosuvastatin Calcium