Influence of Experimental Cryptococcal Meningitis in Wistar Rats on Voriconazole Brain Penetration Assessed by Microdialysis

Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2017 Jun 27;61(7):e00321-17. doi: 10.1128/AAC.00321-17. Print 2017 Jul.


To make advances in the treatment of cryptococcal meningitis, it is crucial to know a given drug's free fraction that reaches the biophase. In the present study, we applied microdialysis (μD) as a tool to determine the free levels reached by voriconazole (VRC) in the brains of healthy and Cryptococcus neoformans-infected rats. The infection was induced by the intravenous (i.v.) administration of 1 × 105 CFU of yeast. The dose administered was 5 mg/kg (of body weight) of VRC, given i.v. Plasma and microdialysate samples were analyzed by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) and LC-UV methods. The free brain/free plasma ratio (fT) and population pharmacokinetic (popPK) analyses were performed to evaluate the impact of infection on PK parameters of the drug. The brain penetration ratio showed an increase on brain exposure in infected animals (fThealthy = 0.85 versus fTinfected = 1.86). The structural PK model with two compartments and Michaelis-Menten (MM) elimination describes the VRC concentration-time profile in plasma and tissue simultaneously. The covariate infection was included in volume of distribution in the peripheral compartment in healthy animals (V2) and maximum rate of metabolism (VM ). The levels reached in infected tissues were higher than the values described for MIC of VRC for Cryptococccus neoformans (0.03 to 0.5 μg ml-1), indicating its great potential to treat meningitis associated with C. neoformans.

Keywords: Cryptococcus neoformans; meningitis; microdialysis; population pharmacokinetics analysis; voriconazole.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / drug effects
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Cryptococcus neoformans / drug effects
  • Cryptococcus neoformans / pathogenicity
  • Male
  • Meningitis, Cryptococcal / drug therapy
  • Meningitis, Cryptococcal / metabolism
  • Microdialysis
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Voriconazole / pharmacokinetics*
  • Voriconazole / therapeutic use*


  • Voriconazole