Pharmacokinetic-Pharmacodynamic Model for the Testosterone-Suppressive Effect of Leuprolide in Normal and Prostate Cancer Rats

Molecules. 2018 Apr 15;23(4):909. doi: 10.3390/molecules23040909.


This study developed the pharmacokinetic (PK)-pharmacodynamic (PD) model of the testosterone-suppressive effect of leuprolide for evaluation of the sustained release (SR) depot and leuprolide solution in rats with or without prostate cancer. Six groups of rats were divided by the routes of administration (intravenous and subcutaneous injection) and kinds of formulation (vehicle, leuprolide solution, and SR depot). The PK profile after subcutaneous injection of leuprolide solution could be well-described by the one-compartment model. The absorption rate constant, the total body clearance, and the volume of distribution were estimated at 16.67 h-1, 514.46 mL/h, and 487.40 mL. Using PK parameters in the solution-administered group, the PK model for the SR depot was developed. The PK-PD model was constructed by describing the testosterone-suppressive effect of leuprolide using the feedback turnover model. The response of testosterone after administration of each formulation was well described using this PK-PD model for the estimation of PD parameters (EC50, Emax, h) and systemic parameters (kin, kout, kf on, kf off). The developed PK-PD model containing an inhibitory feedback system could successfully describe the testosterone-suppressive effect of leuprolide in the type of formulation. The PK-PD model developed would be useful for evaluating the formulation of similar drugs whose effect is regulated through the feedback mechanism.

Keywords: leuprolide; pharmacodynamics; pharmacokinetics; pharmacokinetic–pharmacodynamic model; sustained release depot.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Area Under Curve
  • Delayed-Action Preparations
  • Drug Liberation
  • Leuprolide / administration & dosage
  • Leuprolide / chemistry
  • Leuprolide / pharmacokinetics*
  • Leuprolide / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Models, Biological*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Testosterone / antagonists & inhibitors*


  • Delayed-Action Preparations
  • Testosterone
  • Leuprolide