This study aimed to evaluate the potential of α-cedrene as a new anti-obesity drug by characterizing absorption, metabolism and pharmacokinetics in rats. α-Cedrene was administered intravenously (10 and 20 mg/kg) and orally (50 and 100 mg/kg) to female and male Sprague-Dawley rats. Blood, tissues, urine, and feces were collected at predetermined times. α-Cedrene concentrations were determined by a validated gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS). A gas chromatography-mass selective detection (GC-MSD) method was used to identify the major metabolite. After i.v. injection, α-cedrene exhibited a rapid clearance (98.4-120.3 ml/min/kg), a large distribution volume (35.9-56.5 l/kg), and a relatively long half-life (4.0-6.4 h). Upon oral administration, it was slowly absorbed (Tmax = 4.4 h) with bioavailability of 48.7-84.8%. No gender differences were found in its pharmacokinetics. Upon oral administration, α-cedrene was highly distributed to tissues, with the tissue-to-plasma partition coefficients (Kp) far greater than unity for all tissues. In particular, its distribution to lipid was notably high (Kp = 132.0) compared to other tissues. A mono-hydroxylated metabolite was identified as a preliminary metabolite in rat plasma. These results suggest that α-cedrene has the favorable pharmacokinetic characteristics to be further tested as an anti-obesity drug in clinical studies.
Keywords: Bioavailability; Elimination; Obesity; Pharmacokinetics; Tissue distribution; α-cedrene.
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