Verapamil hepatic clearance in four preclinical rat models: towards activity-based scaling

Biopharm Drug Dispos. 2015 Oct;36(7):462-80. doi: 10.1002/bdd.1959. Epub 2015 Jun 11.


The current study was designed to cross-validate rat liver microsomes (RLM), suspended rat hepatocytes (SRH) and the isolated perfused rat liver (IPRL) model against in vivo pharmacokinetic data, using verapamil as a model drug. Michaelis-Menten constants (Km), for the metabolic disappearance kinetics of verapamil in RLM and SRH (freshly isolated and cryopreserved), were determined and corrected for non-specific binding. The 'unbound' Km determined with RLM (2.8 µM) was divided by the 'unbound' Km determined with fresh and cryopreserved SRH (3.9 µM and 2.1 µM, respectively) to calculate the ratio of intracellular to extracellular unbound concentration (Kpu,u). Kpu,u was significantly different between freshly isolated (0.71) and cryopreserved (1.31) SRH, but intracellular capacity for verapamil metabolism was maintained after cryopreservation (200 vs. 191 µl/min/million cells). Direct comparison of intrinsic clearance values (Clint) in RLM versus SRH, yielded an activity-based scaling factor (SF) of 0.28-0.30 mg microsomal protein/million cells (MPPMC). Merging the IPRL-derived Clint with the MPPMC and SRH data, resulted in scaling factors for MPPGL (80 and 43 mg microsomal protein/g liver) and HPGL (269 and 153 million cells/g liver), respectively. Likewise, the hepatic blood flow (61 ml/min/kg b.wt) was calculated using IPRL Clint and the in vivo Cl. The scaling factors determined here are consistent with previously reported CYP450-content based scaling factors. Overall, the results show that integrated interpretation of data obtained with multiple preclinical tools (i.e. RLM, SRH, IPRL) can contribute to more reliable estimates for scaling factors and ultimately to improved in vivo clearance predictions based on in vitro experimentation.

Keywords: Kpu,u; hepatic clearance; isolated perfused liver; liver microsomes; scaling factors; suspended hepatocytes; verapamil.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical / methods
  • Hepatocytes / drug effects
  • Hepatocytes / metabolism*
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Male
  • Metabolic Clearance Rate / drug effects
  • Metabolic Clearance Rate / physiology
  • Microsomes, Liver / drug effects
  • Microsomes, Liver / metabolism*
  • Models, Animal*
  • Rats
  • Verapamil / metabolism*
  • Verapamil / pharmacology


  • Verapamil