Naproxen (NPX) is used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) for alleviation of pain and inflammation. In view of the extensive albumin binding of NPX, this study investigates whether chronic inflammation and sex influence the physiologic albumin concentrations, plasma protein binding, and pharmacokinetics (PK) of NPX. The PK of NPX was evaluated in a rat model of RA [collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) in Lewis rats] and in healthy controls. These PK studies included 1) NPX in female and male CIA rats that received 10, 25, or 50 mg/kg NPX i.p.; and 2) NPX in healthy female and male rats after i.p. dosing of NPX at 50 mg/kg. Plasma albumin concentrations were quantified by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and protein binding was assessed using ultrafiltration. The NPX concentrations in plasma and filtrates were determined by liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Plasma concentration-time data of NPX were first assessed by noncompartmental analysis (NCA). Nonlinear PK as indicated by dose-dependent NCA clearances and distribution volumes was observed. A two-compartment model with a first-order absorption process incorporating nonlinear protein binding in plasma and tissues jointly described the PK data of all groups. Saturable albumin binding accounts for the nonlinearity of NPX PK in all rats as well as part of the PK differences in arthritic rats. The CIA rats exhibited reduced albumin concentrations, reduced overall protein binding, and reduced clearances of unbound NPX, consistent with expectations during inflammation. The net effect of chronic inflammation was an elevation of the Cmax and area under the plasma concentration-time curve (AUC) of unbound drug.
- Received December 5, 2016.
- Accepted February 16, 2017.
X.L. received financial support from the China Scholarship Council to pursue research at the State University of New York at Buffalo. This work was funded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences [Grant R01-GM24211].
- Copyright © 2017 by The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics