Fetal exposure to drugs cannot be readily estimated from single time point cord blood sampling at the time of delivery. Therefore, we developed a physiologically-based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) model to estimate fetal drug exposure throughout pregnancy. Here we report verification of this novel maternal-fetal physiologically-based pharmacokinetic (m-f-PBPK) model for drugs that passively diffuse across the placenta and are not metabolized/transported there. Our recently built m-f-PBPK model was populated with gestational age-dependent changes in maternal drug disposition and maternal-fetal physiology. Using midazolam as an in vivo calibrator, the transplacental passive diffusion clearance of theophylline and zidovudine was first estimated. Then, for verification, the predicted maternal plasma (MP) and umbilical venous (UV) plasma drug concentrations by our m-f-PBPK were compared against those observed at term. Overall, our m-f-PBPK model well predicted the maternal and fetal exposure to the two verification drugs, theophylline and zidovudine, at term, across a range of dosing regimens, with nearly all observed MP and UV plasma drug concentrations falling within the 90% prediction interval [i.e.5th -95th percentile range of a virtual pregnant population (n=100)]. Prediction precision and bias of theophylline MP and UV were 14.5% and 12.4%, and 9.4% and 7.5%, respectively. Further, for zidovudine, after the exclusion of one unexpectedly low MP concentration, prediction precision and bias for MP and UV were 50.3 % and 30.2, and 28.3% and 15.0%, respectively. This m-f-PBPK should be useful to predict fetal exposure to drugs, throughout pregnancy, for drugs that passively diffuse across the placenta.
- clinical pharmacology
- physiologically-based pharmacokinetic modeling/PBPK
- systems biology
- The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics