Interspecies scaling of tolcapone, a new inhibitor of catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT). Use of in vitro data from hepatocytes to predict metabolic clearance in animals and humans

Xenobiotica. 1996 Aug;26(8):839-51. doi: 10.3109/00498259609046754.


1. In the present study, in vivo pharmacokinetic data in animals were combined with in vitro metabolic data from animal and human hepatocytes to predict the human systemic plasma clearance and the kinetic profile of tolcapone, a compound metabolized by phase II reactions. 2. The integration of in vitro metabolic data from hepatocytes into allometric scaling gave satisfactory predictions of metabolic clearance in humans for tolcapone (74.2 ml/min predicted versus 118 ml/min observed). 3. Using combined time transformations and in vitro metabolic rates, the range of values predicted from the various animal species (90.4 to 242 ml/min, 0.60 to 2.2 h and 7.3 to 121 for clearance, half-life and volume of distribution, respectively) were in good agreement with the observed values in humans (118 ml/min, 1.3 h and 8.6 h, respectively). 4. Compared to the conventional correction factors (e.g. maximum life span, brain weight), in vitro metabolic data provide a more rational basis for extrapolating the metabolic clearance in humans.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Benzophenones / blood
  • Benzophenones / metabolism
  • Benzophenones / pharmacokinetics*
  • Catechol O-Methyltransferase Inhibitors*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dogs
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacokinetics
  • Humans
  • Liver / cytology
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Male
  • Metabolic Clearance Rate
  • Models, Biological*
  • Nitrophenols
  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Rabbits
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Species Specificity
  • Time Factors
  • Tolcapone


  • Benzophenones
  • Catechol O-Methyltransferase Inhibitors
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Nitrophenols
  • Tolcapone