Evaluating In Vitro-In Vivo Extrapolation of Toxicokinetics

Toxicol Sci. 2018 May 1;163(1):152-169. doi: 10.1093/toxsci/kfy020.


Prioritizing the risk posed by thousands of chemicals potentially present in the environment requires exposure, toxicity, and toxicokinetic (TK) data, which are often unavailable. Relatively high throughput, in vitro TK (HTTK) assays and in vitro-to-in vivo extrapolation (IVIVE) methods have been developed to predict TK, but most of the in vivo TK data available to benchmark these methods are from pharmaceuticals. Here we report on new, in vivo rat TK experiments for 26 non-pharmaceutical chemicals with environmental relevance. Both intravenous and oral dosing were used to calculate bioavailability. These chemicals, and an additional 19 chemicals (including some pharmaceuticals) from previously published in vivo rat studies, were systematically analyzed to estimate in vivo TK parameters (e.g., volume of distribution [Vd], elimination rate). For each of the chemicals, rat-specific HTTK data were available and key TK predictions were examined: oral bioavailability, clearance, Vd, and uncertainty. For the non-pharmaceutical chemicals, predictions for bioavailability were not effective. While no pharmaceutical was absorbed at less than 10%, the fraction bioavailable for non-pharmaceutical chemicals was as low as 0.3%. Total clearance was generally more under-estimated for nonpharmaceuticals and Vd methods calibrated to pharmaceuticals may not be appropriate for other chemicals. However, the steady-state, peak, and time-integrated plasma concentrations of nonpharmaceuticals were predicted with reasonable accuracy. The plasma concentration predictions improved when experimental measurements of bioavailability were incorporated. In summary, HTTK and IVIVE methods are adequately robust to be applied to high throughput in vitro toxicity screening data of environmentally relevant chemicals for prioritizing based on human health risks.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Area Under Curve
  • Biological Availability
  • Computer Simulation
  • Environmental Pollutants / blood
  • Environmental Pollutants / chemistry
  • Environmental Pollutants / pharmacokinetics*
  • Environmental Pollutants / toxicity*
  • High-Throughput Screening Assays
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metabolic Clearance Rate
  • Models, Biological*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Risk Assessment
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Toxicokinetics*


  • Environmental Pollutants