A human life-stage physiologically based pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic model for chlorpyrifos: development and validation

Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2014 Aug;69(3):580-97. doi: 10.1016/j.yrtph.2013.10.005. Epub 2013 Nov 4.


Sensitivity to some chemicals in animals and humans are known to vary with age. Age-related changes in sensitivity to chlorpyrifos have been reported in animal models. A life-stage physiologically based pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic (PBPK/PD) model was developed to predict disposition of chlorpyrifos and its metabolites, chlorpyrifos-oxon (the ultimate toxicant) and 3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinol (TCPy), as well as B-esterase inhibition by chlorpyrifos-oxon in humans. In this model, previously measured age-dependent metabolism of chlorpyrifos and chlorpyrifos-oxon were integrated into age-related descriptions of human anatomy and physiology. The life-stage PBPK/PD model was calibrated and tested against controlled adult human exposure studies. Simulations suggest age-dependent pharmacokinetics and response may exist. At oral doses ⩾0.6mg/kg of chlorpyrifos (100- to 1000-fold higher than environmental exposure levels), 6months old children are predicted to have higher levels of chlorpyrifos-oxon in blood and higher levels of red blood cell cholinesterase inhibition compared to adults from equivalent doses. At lower doses more relevant to environmental exposures, simulations predict that adults will have slightly higher levels of chlorpyrifos-oxon in blood and greater cholinesterase inhibition. This model provides a computational framework for age-comparative simulations that can be utilized to predict chlorpyrifos disposition and biological response over various postnatal life stages.

Keywords: Life-stage sensitivity; Pesticide; Pharmacokinetics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Carboxylesterase / blood
  • Carboxylesterase / metabolism
  • Carboxylesterase / pharmacokinetics
  • Carboxylesterase / urine
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chlorpyrifos / analogs & derivatives
  • Chlorpyrifos / blood
  • Chlorpyrifos / metabolism
  • Chlorpyrifos / pharmacokinetics*
  • Chlorpyrifos / urine
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors / blood
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors / metabolism
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors / pharmacokinetics
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors / urine
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Environmental Exposure / analysis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Models, Biological
  • Pyridones / blood
  • Pyridones / metabolism
  • Pyridones / pharmacokinetics
  • Pyridones / urine


  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors
  • Pyridones
  • O,O-diethyl O-3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridyl phosphate
  • 3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinol
  • Carboxylesterase
  • Chlorpyrifos