The time-dependent elimination kinetics of all-transretinoic acid (ATRA) has been associated with autoinduction of its metabolism and has led to the hypothesis that rapid development of acquired clinical resistance to ATRA may be prevented by coadministration of metabolic inhibitors. This study in rats was performed to investigate the pharmacokinetics and onset of timedependent elimination of ATRA, with the purpose of establishing an animal model suitable for in vivo preclinical studies of compounds capable of inhibiting ATRA metabolism. After the intravenous (IV) bolus administration of single doses of ATRA (1.60 mg kg−1 and 0.40 mg kg−1), the plasma concentration-time curves showed an accelerated decline at 180 minutes after dosing. The plasma clearance (Cl) of ATRA, determined after IV administration of a second dose (1.60 mg kg−1), at 180 minutes was greater than Cl after a single dose, thus indicating the existence of a time-dependent elimination process detectable 180 minutes after administration of the first dose. Such time-dependent elimination was confirmed by means of an IV constant-rate infusion of 0.48 mg h−1 kg−1 of ATRA during 10 hours. Peak plasma ATRA concentration was achieved at 180 minutes, after which the plasma concentration decreased to reach a much lower apparent steady-state drug concentration at 420 minutes. The area under the plasma concentration-time curve (AUC) obtained after oral administration of a second ATRA dose (1.60 mg kg−1) was ~8% of the AUC obtained after a single oral dose; consistent with a time-dependent increase in the elimination of ATRA, as was observed after IV administration.
Keywords: all-trans-retinoic acid, time-dependent elimination, pharmacokinetic model, rat, intravenous administration, oral administration