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Open Access Comparison of the Effects of Perfusion in Determining Brain Penetration (Brain-to-Plasma Ratios) of Small Molecules in Rats

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Abstract:

In the process of drug discovery, brain and plasma measurements of new chemical entities in rodents are of interest, particularly when the target receptors are in the brain. Brain-to-plasma ratios (B/P) obtained from a rodent pharmacokinetic assay are useful in helping determine which compounds are brain penetrant. The study reported here was performed to determine whether whole-body saline perfusion for complete blood removal was required to accurately measure brain tissue compound concentrations. Diazepam was used as a positive control since it is highly brain penetrant. Compound A was used as a negative control since it had known poor brain penetration. After intravenous dosing with either diazepam or compound A, rats were anesthetized and blood was collected, then the brain was removed following no perfusion or whole-body perfusion with saline. The analytes described (compound A, diazepam, and the internal standard) were recovered from plasma or brain homogenate by use of protein precipitation, and were subsequently analyzed by use of liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS). The B/P values determined by use of LC-MS were not significantly different in perfused vs. non-perfused rats (P ≥ 0.05). This approach (whole brain collected from non-perfused male rats) is an attractive alternative over brain penetration studies of perfused rats, since it has markedly reduced the technical time and potential for pain and distress required for generating B/P data due to elimination of the requirement for anesthesia and surgical preparation of animals.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Comparative Medicine, Merck Research Laboratories, Rahway, New Jersey 2: Department of Basic Chemistry Analytical Support, Merck Research Laboratories, Rahway, New Jersey 3: Department of Biometrics Research, Merck Research Laboratories, Rahway, New Jersey

Publication date: August 1, 2004

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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