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1.  Gender-based effects on methylprednisolone pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics 
The pharmacokinetics and selected pharmacodynamic responses to methylprednisolone were investigated in six men and six premenopausal women after a dose of 0.6 mg/kg ideal body weight. Women (luteal phase) exhibited a greater methylprednisolone clearance (0.45 versus 0.29 L/hr/kg) and shorter elimination half-life (1.7 versus 2.6 hours) than men. The volume of distribution of methylprednisolone was similar when normalized for ideal body weight. Pharmacodynamic models were used to examine the methylprednisolone suppressive effects on cortisol secretion and basophil and helper T lymphocyte trafficking. A significantly smaller 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) value (0.1 versus 1.7 ng/ml) was seen in the women for suppression of cortisol secretion, indicating increased sensitivity. However, the area under the concentration-time curve of effect was similar for both groups. The IC50 values for effects of methylprednisolone on basophil trafficking related to estradiol concentrations in a log-linear fashion in women, with increased sensitivity found at higher estradiol concentrations. Men displayed a greater 24-hour net suppression in blood basophil numbers, but no difference was observed in net cortisol and helper T lymphocyte suppression between the sexes. These findings suggest that methylprednisolone dosages should be based on ideal body weight. Although women are more sensitive to methylprednisolone as measured by cortisol suppression, they eliminate the drug more quickly, generally producing a similar net response.
PMCID: PMC4207261  PMID: 8222483
2.  Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamic modeling of direct suppression effects of methylprednisolone on serum cortisol and blood histamine in human subjects 
Pharmacodynamic models for “directly suppressive” effects of methylprednisolone are based on the premise that receptor interactions of steroids are followed by immediate suppression of either the circadian secretion of cortisol or the constant rate recirculation of histamine-containing basophils that persists until inhibitory concentrations of methylprednisolone disappear. Methylprednisolone doses of 0, 10, 20, and 40 mg were given as the 21-succinate sodium salt in a balanced crossover study to six normal men. Plasma steroid concentrations and blood histamine were measured simultaneously. Both forms of methylnisolone exhibited linear kinetic parameters. One dynamic model quantitates the baseline circadian pattern and the decline and return of cortisol with similar parameter estimates for all three dose levels. A similar model describes the monoexponential decline and the log-linear return to steady-state baseline of blood histamine. Similar inhibitory concentration values for both effects approximated the equilibrium dissociation constant of in vitro steroid receptor binding. The new models are more physiologically appropriate for these steroid effects than three other models that are commonly employed in pharmacodynamics. Steroid effects generally appear to be receptor mediated with either nongene immediate responses or gene-mediated delayed effects. These models allow quantitation of the rapid effects of steroids with simple equations and common fitted parameters for all steroid dose levels.
PMCID: PMC4207273  PMID: 2689044
3.  Prednisolone Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics in Relation to Sex and Race 
Journal of clinical pharmacology  2001;41(11):1180-1194.
Prednisolone pharmacokinetics (PK) and pharmacodynamics (PD) were investigated in relation to sex and race in white males, black males, white females, and black females (n = 8/group) after a single oral dose (0.27 mg/kg) of prednisone. The study consisted of baseline and prednisone phases with 32-hour sampling in each phase. Women were studied during the luteal phase of their menstrual cycle. Total and free plasma prednisolone concentrations were assayed by HPLC and ultrafiltration, and pharmacokinetic data were analyzed by compartmental fitting using WinNonlin. Plasma cortisol concentrations were assayed by HPLC; T-helper, T-suppressor lymphocyte, and neutrophil cell counts were determined by FACS and hemocytometry, and these pharmacodynamic data were evaluated by basic and extended indirect response models using ADAPT II. Total body weight–normalized free prednisolone oral clearance and apparent volume of distribution were higher in men compared with women, regardless of race (by22%in whites and40%in blacks for oral clearance, p < 0.01; by32%in whites and38% in blacks for apparent volume of distribution, p < 0.01). The 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) values for T-suppressor cell-trafficking inhibition were higher in whites than in blacks, regardless of sex (by 125% in men and 208% in women, p < 0.01). The IC50 or SC50 values for effects of prednisolone on cortisol secretion and T-helper lymphocyte or neutrophil trafficking were not statistically different between men and women, blacks and whites. The findings of this study suggest that there are some prednisolone PK/PD differences related to sex and race. However, these differences do not suggest the need for dosage adjustments, and additional experiments with repeat dosing are needed to fully evaluate the clinical implication of these findings.
PMCID: PMC4207281  PMID: 11697751
The effects of multiple-dosing with dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-SO4) on the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of prednisolone were examined. Prednisolone (25 mg/kg i.v.) was administered to male and female Sprague-Dawley rats (250–350 g) alone and following DHEA-SO4 (4 mg/kg i.v., every 8 h for 4 days). Male control rats cleared prednisolone faster [3.68 ± 1.30 (males) vs 1.01 ± 0.7 1/h/kg; p<0.05] and had larger Vss (1.38 ± 0.459 vs 0.394 ± 0.500 1/kg; p<0.05) than females both due largely to lesser plasma protein binding. Prednisolone clearance and Vss were not altered by DHEA-SO4 in males or females. The net effect of prednisolone on basophils and plasma corticosterone did not differ with gender. DHEA-SO4 had no effect on plasma corticosterone and did not alter prednisolone action. DHEA-SO4 inhibited basophil trafficking in males, but to a lesser extent than prednisolone, and antagonized the effect of prednisolone on basophil trafficking in both sexes. The steroid-sparing effect observed with DHEA clinically may not be due to an alteration of corticosteroid pharmacokinetics but partly to its ability to affect immune functions.
PMCID: PMC4207303  PMID: 10707113
prednisolone; dehydroepiandrosterone; pharmacokinetics; pharmacodynamics; basophil trafficking; corticosterone suppression
Transplantation  1998;65(9):1203-1209.
Cyclosporine (CsA), prednisolone (Pred), and sirolimus (Sir) are inimunosuppressive compounds inhibiting lymphocyte proliferation at the cytokine gene transcription (CsA and Pred) or signal transduction (Sir) levels.
Double- and triple-drug interactions were simultaneously studied using lectin-induced proliferation of isolated cell lymphocytes (ICLP) and whole blood lymphocytes from men and women as well as two-way mixed lymphocyte reaction assays. Drug interactions were described with isobolograms and quantitated with the universal response surface approach by estimating the interaction parameter α.
All compounds inhibited more than 89% of control proliferative responses. In each assay, CsA was less potent than Pred (3- to 14-fold) and Sir (5- to 11-fold). Sir was of similar or higher potency than Pred and 1.5-fold more potent in men than women. Pred was 1.4 times more potent in women but this was found only in the ICLP assay. All combinations were synergistic (α>0), with greater synergism found for combinations involving Sir, especially in the ICLP (α>13) and two-way mixed lymphocyte reaction (α>40) assays. Moreover, the Sir/Pred interaction in the ICLP assay was two to five times more synergistic in women, because their mean α was 56 compared with 13 in men. Double-combination α values were able to reasonably describe CsA/Pred/Sir triple-interaction effects.
These studies indicate that CsA, Pred, and Sir act and synergistically interact in vitro, with gender and assay as additional factors, and that whole blood lymphocyte proliferation cultures are useful in assessing the nature and intensity of drug interactions.
PMCID: PMC4207307  PMID: 9603169
6.  Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of methylprednisolone when administered at 8 am versus 4 pm 
The temporal variations in the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of methylprednisolone at 8 am versus 4 pm were investigated in six healthy male volunteers. Subjects completed three phases: no drug administration, 20 mg intravenous methylprednisolone at 8 am, and the same dose at 4 pm. Methylprednisolone clearance was 28% greater in the afternoon. The suppressive effects of methylprednisolone on basophils (measured as whole blood histamine), helper T lymphocytes, and cortisol concentrations, assessed by the ratio of the area under the curve (AUC) after methylprednisolone to the baseline AUC, were not different between the phases. The 50% inhibitory concentration values for methylprednisolone derived from pharmacodynamic models were also similar, indicating no difference in intrinsic responsiveness. However, cortisol concentrations returned to baseline about 4 hours earlier after the 4 pm compared with the 8 AM dose because of the enhanced afternoon methylprednisolonc clearance. These findings are in agreement with other studies that suggest adequate clinical effects and less disturbance of cortisol circadian behavior when methylprednisolone is administered as a single dose in the morning.
PMCID: PMC4207308  PMID: 1535301
7.  Pharmacodynamic Interactions between Recombinant Mouse Interleukin-10 and Prednisolone Using a Mouse Endotoxemia Model 
The pharmacodynamic interactions between recombinant mouse interleukin-10 (IL-10) and prednisolone were examined in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced experimental endotoxemia in Balb/c mice. Treatment phases consists of single doses of IL-10 (10 μg/kg i.p.), prednisolone (25 (mg/kg i.p.), IL-10 (2.5 μg/kg i.p.) with prednisolone (6.25 mg/kg i.p.), or placebo (saline). Measurements included plasma steroid kinetics and IL-10 concentrations and responses to LPS including proinflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IFN-γ) and circulatory NO measured as plasma nitrate/nitrite concentrations. The intraperitoneal dosing of LPS produced large and transient elevations of plasma TNF-α, IFN-γ, and NO concentrations. Noncompartmental and model fitting using extended indirect response models based on drug inhibition of multiphase stimulation of biomarkers by LPS were used to describe the in vivo pharmacodynamics and drug interactions. Dosing with prednisolone, IL-10, or their combinations produced strong inhibition of cytokine and NO production. The IC50 values of prednisolone ranged from 54 to 171 ng/mL, and IC50 values for IL-10 ranged from 0.06 to 0.69 ng/mL. The production of NO was described as a cascading consequence of the TNF-α and IFN-γ plasma concentrations. The joint dosing of IL-10 with prednisolone produces moderately synergistic immunosuppressive effects in this system. Both drugs were sufficiently protective in suppressing the inflammatory mediators when administered prior to the LPS trigger, while such effects were modest when administered after the inflammatory stimulus was provoked. The integrated and complex pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic models well capture the in vivo processes, drug potencies, and interactions of IL-10 and prednisolone.
PMCID: PMC4196336  PMID: 15666292
pharmacodynamic interaction; mouse interleukin; prednisolone; mouse model
8.  Second-generation minimal physiologically-based pharmacokinetic model for monoclonal antibodies 
Journal of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics  2013;40(5):10.1007/s10928-013-9332-2.
Minimal physiologically-based pharmacokinetic (mPBPK) models provide a sensible modeling approach when fitting only plasma (or blood) data yielding physiologically-relevant PK parameters that may provide more practical value than parameters of mammillary models. We propose a second-generation mPBPK model specifically for monoclonal antibodies (mAb) by including (lumping) several essential components of mAb PK used in full PBPK models. These components include convection as the primary mechanism of antibody movement from plasma into tissues and return to plasma with interstitial fluid as the major extravascular distribution space. The model divides tissue spaces into two groups according to their vascular endothelial structure, leaky and tight, which consequently allows discernment of two types and general sites of distribution. This mPBPK model was applied to two mAbs in mice and ten mAbs with linear kinetics in humans. The model captured their plasma PK profiles well with predictions of concentrations in interstitial fluid for two types of tissues. Predictions of tissue concentrations for mAb 7E3 and 8C2 were consistent with actual measurements in mice, indicating the feasibility of this model in assessing extravascular distribution in the two categories of tissues. The vascular reflection coefficients (σ1) of tight tissues (Vtight) ranged 0.883 to 0.987 and coefficients (σ2) for leaky tissues (Vleaky) ranged 0.311 to 0.837. The plasma clearance (CLp) varied among the mAbs in humans from 0.0054 to 0.03 L/hr. In addition, applying this model generates parameters for mAb transcapillary escape rates and assesses major sites of elimination. Four of ten mAbs exhibited better fitting statistics premised on elimination from interstitial fluid than from plasma. This approach allows comparisons of mAb PK when only plasma data are available, provides more realistic parameters and predictions than mammillary models, and may provide an intermediate step towards utilizing full PBPK models for mAbs.
PMCID: PMC3836053  PMID: 23996115
PBPK; minimal PBPK; mammillary model; monoclonal antibody
Maternal administration of betamethasone to enhance fetal lung maturation for women who threaten preterm labor is common clinical practice. However, recommendations regarding the choice of betamethasone formulations for perinatal use are vague. The disposition of betamethasone from two commonly used antenatal formulations is poorly understood. We therefore designed a study to capture the true pharmacokinetic profiles of betamethasone from these fast acting and dual-release formulations. Betamethasone in sheep plasma was measured by a newly designed, highly sensitive liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry assay after intramuscular injection (n = 4) of 0.25 mg/kg betamethasone phosphate and 0.5 mg/kg betamethasone phosphate/acetate formulations. Compartmental modeling was performed using the ADAPT II program. Betamethasone pharmacokinetics could be captured for 24 h for the phosphate and for 5 days for the phosphate/acetate formulations. The phosphate formulation profile had the appearance of a traditional Bateman function with a terminal half-life of 4 h, whereas the phosphate/acetate formulation produced a biexponential decline with a terminal half-life of 14 h. The latter is much longer than is commonly reported and has been missed in the literature due to assay limitations. Extrapolations to humans indicate that although both formulations might have similar therapeutic indices, the dual formulation might be associated with a lower safety profile. In light of this newly identified long terminal half-life for the betamethasone dual formulation, dosing practices for betamethasone in pregnancy need to be reassessed.
PMCID: PMC4180066  PMID: 15860658
10.  Immunosuppressive Interactions among Calcium Channel Antagonists and Selected Corticosteroids and Macrolides Using Human whole Blood Lymphocytes 
The immunosuppressive interactions of calcium channel antagonists [diltiazem (Dil), verapamil (Ver) and nifedipine (Nif)], with corticosteroids [methylprednisolone (Mpl), prednisolone (Prd)], and macrolides [tacrolimus (Tac) and sirolnnus (Sir)] were examined in human whole blood lymphocyte cultures. Gender-related differences in responses in the interactions between these drug classes were studied using blood from 6 males and 6 females. The nature and intensity of interactions were determined using an extended Loewe additivity model. All immunosuppressants exhibited higher potency than the calcium channel antagonists with mean IC50 values of: Dil (mM)Ver (mM)Nif (mM)Mpl (nM)Prd (nM)Tac (nM)Sir (nM)Male13541.921312.118.6150327Female11431.847.44.68.8111106
Gender-related differences in responses to Mpl and Prd were observed while the others were not significant. Additive interactions were found among calcium channel antagonists and corticosteroids. Significant synergistic interactions were observed between calcium channel antagonists and tacrolimus and sirolimus, although these are unlikely to be of clinical importance. These studies demonstrate diverse drug interactions in the examination of an important array of immunosuppressant drug combinations.
PMCID: PMC4178538  PMID: 15681895
Immunosuppressants; pharmacodynamics; corticosteroids; calcium channel blockers; lymphocytes
11.  Modeling Pharmacokinetics/Pharmacodynamics of Abatacept and Disease Progression in Collagen-Induced Arthritic Rats - A Population Approach 
The PK / PD of abatacept, a selective T-cell co-stimulation modulator, was examined in rats with collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) using a nonlinear mixed effect modeling approach. Male Lewis rats underwent collagen induction to produce rheumatoid arthritis. Two single-dose groups received either 10 mg/kg intravenous (IV) or 20 mg/kg subcutaneous (SC) abatacept, and one multiple-dose group received one 20 mg/kg SC abatacept dose and four additional 10 mg/kg SC doses. Effects on disease progression (DIS) were measured by paw swelling. Plasma concentrations of abatacept were assayed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The PK / PD data were sequentially fitted using NONMEM VI. Goodness-of-fit was assessed by objective functions and visual inspection of diagnostic plots. The PK of abatacept followed a two-compartment model with linear elimination. For SC doses, short-term zero-order absorption was assumed with F = 59.2 %. The disease progression component was an indirect response model with a time-dependent change in paw edema production rate constant (kin) that was inhibited by abatacept. Variation in the PK data could be explained by inter-individual variability in clearance (CL) and central compartment volume (V1), while the large variability of the PD data may be the result of paw edema production (kin0) and loss rate constant (kout). Abatacept has modest effects on paw swelling in CIA rats. The PK / PD profiles were well described by the proposed model and allowed evaluation of inter-individual variability on drug- and DIS-related parameters.
PMCID: PMC3947259  PMID: 24233383
Abatacept; arthritis; model; pharmacokinetics; pharmacodynamics; disease progression
12.  Variability in Zucker diabetic fatty rats: differences in disease progression in hyperglycemic and normoglycemic animals 
Both obesity and chronic inflammation are often associated with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. The Zucker diabetic fatty (ZDF) rat (fa/fa) is an obese animal model frequently used in type 2 diabetes research. The current study determines whether chronic administration (from 5 weeks of age through 24 weeks of age) of salsalate, a salicylate with anti-inflammatory properties, would be effective in mitigating diabetes disease progression in ZDF rats. Although a trend existed for lower blood glucose in the salsalate-treated group, significant differences were obscured by high animal-level variability. However, even in the non-drug-treated group, not all ZDF rats became diabetic as expected. Therefore, animals were parsed into two groups, regardless of drug treatment: normoglycemic ZDF rats, which maintained blood glucose profiles identical to nondiabetic Zucker lean rats (ZLRs), and hyperglycemic ZDF rats, which exhibited progressive elevation in blood glucose. To ascertain the differences between ZDF rats that became hyperglycemic and those that did not, relevant physiological indices and expression levels of adiponectin, tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-6, and glucocorticoid-induced leucine zipper messenger RNAs in adipose tissue were measured at sacrifice. Plasma C-reactive protein concentrations and expression levels of cytokine and glucocorticoid-induced leucine zipper messenger RNAs suggested more prevalent chronic inflammation in hyperglycemic animals. Early elevation of the insulin-sensitizing adipokine, adiponectin, was present in both ZDF groups, with the rate of its age-related decline faster in hyperglycemic animals. The most marked difference between the two groups of ZDF animals was in insulin output. Although the two ZDF populations had very similar elevated plasma insulin concentrations for the first 10 weeks, after that time, plasma insulin decreased markedly in the animals that became hyperglycemic, whereas it remained high in the normoglycemic ZDF rats. Thus, hyperglycemic ZDF animals exhibit both insulin resistance and progressive beta cell failure, whereas normoglycemic ZDF rats exhibit a lesser degree of insulin resistance that does not progress to beta cell failure. In these respects, the normoglycemic ZDF rats appear to revert back to a phenotype that strongly resembles that of nondiabetic Zucker fatty rats from which they were derived.
PMCID: PMC4234283  PMID: 25419150
type 2 diabetes; ZDF rats; animal models
13.  Gene arrays and temporal patterns of drug response: corticosteroid effects on rat liver 
It was hypothesized that expression profiling using gene arrays can be used to distinguish temporal patterns of changes in gene expression in response to a drug in vivo, and that these patterns can be used to identify groups of genes regulated by common mechanisms. A corticosteroid, methylprednisolone (MPL), was administered intravenously to a group of 47 rats (Rattus rattus) that were sacrificed at 17 timepoints over 72 h after MPL administration. Plasma drug concentrations and hepatic glucocorticoid receptors were measured from each animal. In addition, RNAs prepared from individual livers were used to query Affymetrix genechips for mRNA expression patterns. Statistical analyses using Affymetrix and GeneSpring software were applied to the results. Cluster analysis revealed six major temporal patterns containing 196 corticosteroid-responsive probe sets representing 153 different genes. Four clusters showed increased expression with differences in lag-time, onset rate, and/or duration of transcriptional effect. A fifth cluster showed rapid reduction persisting for 18 h. The final cluster identified showed decreased expression followed by an extended period of increased expression. These results lend new insights into the diverse hepatic genes involved in the physiologic, therapeutic, and adverse effects of corticosteroids and suggest that a limited array of control processes account for the dynamics of their pharmacogenomic effects.
PMCID: PMC4207265  PMID: 12928814
Corticosteroids; Glucocorticoids; Expression profiling; Cluster analysis
14.  Influence of Gender on Prednisolone Effects on Whole Blood T-Cell Deactivation and Trafficking in Rats 
Prednisolone (5 mg/kg intravenous) was administered to adrenalectomized male and female Sprague-Dawley rats (250–350 g) to assess the effects of gender on disposition and pharmacoimmunodynamics. Plasma concentrations of prednisolone were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography. Incorporation of [3H]thymidine (3H-TDR) was used to determine whole blood T-cell (WBTC) trafficking and deactivation following stimulation with Con-canavalin-A. Whole blood T-cell trafficking was determined indirectly by using the glucocorticoid receptor antagonist RU-40555 (250 ng/mL) added to ex vivo cultures of whole blood from animals dosed with prednisolone. Mean (±SD) prednisolone clearance values were 3.22 ± 0.88 and 3.46 ± 0.96 L/h/kg in males and females, respectively. After administration of prednisolone, relative T-cell counts decreased slowly with time to reach a nadir at 3–5 h and returned to baseline levels by 8 h. Fitting data using an indirect response model yielded mean prednisolone 50% inhibitory concentration for inhibition of WBTC trafficking (IC50T) that was lower in males compared with females (0.14 ± 0.16 versus 1.03 ± 0.06 ng/mL; p < 0.05). In the absence of RU-40555, an immediate and complete inhibition of 3H-TDR incorporation into WBTC was observed (deactivation) and baseline levels were recovered slowly as prednisolone was cleared from blood. The mean 50% inhibitory concentration for inhibition of WBTC deactivation (IC50D) based on an inhibitory Imax model was similar in males and females (0.20 ± 0.24 versus 0.18 ± 0.12 ng/mL). Although male and female rats have similar exposure to prednisolone after 5-mg/kg doses, males are more sensitive to the inhibition of WBTC trafficking, whereas no gender effects on deactivation of WBTC exist.
PMCID: PMC4207271  PMID: 9874701
15.  Interactions of Prednisolone and Other Immunosuppressants Used in Dual Treatment of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus in Lymphocyte Proliferation Assays 
Journal of clinical pharmacology  2004;44(9):1034-1045.
Systemic lupus erythematosus is an autoimmune disease primarily affecting women. Currently, systemic lupus erythematosus therapy is suboptimal due to adverse effects of immunosuppressants, particularly corticosteroids. This study determines the single effects of prednisolone, dehydroepiandrosterone, bromocriptine, tamoxifen, mycophenolic acid, 2-chloro-2′-deoxyadenosine, azathioprine, and chloroquine on lectin-stimulated proliferation of human T lymphocytes, as well as determining whether there are interactions in the joint effects of prednisolone and these agents. The T lymphocytes from the whole blood of 10 middle-aged women were stimulated by phytohemagglutinin and cultured with varying drug concentrations. The Hill function was used to evaluate single-drug response data. Isobolograms were constructed to qualitatively analyze interactions. Parametric analysis based on competitive and noncompetitive interaction models was further applied to quantify the joint interactions and predict steroid-sparing potential. The surface interaction parameter (ψ) estimated from parametric analysis was in concordance with isobolographic inspection for all interactions studied. All interactions favored the noncompetitive model. Results suggest that dehydroepiandrosterone is additive in its effect with prednisolone, whereas tamoxifen interacts synergistically, both providing steroid-sparing effects. Novel immuno-suppressants such as mycophenolic acid may still provide added pharmacologic benefit during therapy despite a slight antagonistic interaction with prednisolone. These studies help rationalize actual or potential use of other drugs with prednisolone in the treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus.
PMCID: PMC4207272  PMID: 15317831
Drug interactions; immunosuppressants; prednisolone; systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
16.  Fifth-Generation Model for Corticosteroid Pharmacodynamics: Application to Steady-State Receptor Down-Regulation and Enzyme Induction Patterns during Seven-Day Continuous Infusion of Methylprednisolone in Rats 
A fifth-generation model for receptor/gene-mediated corticosteroid effects was proposed based on results from a 50 mg/kg IV bolus dose of methylprednisolone (MPL) in male adrenalectomized rats, and confirmed using data from other acute dosage regimens. Steady-state equations for receptor down-regulation and tyrosine aminotransferase (TAT) enzyme induction patterns were derived. Five groups of male Wistar rats (n=5/group) were subcutaneously implanted with Alzet mini-pumps primed to release saline or 0.05, 0.1, 0.2, and 0.3 mg/kg/hr of MPL for 7 days. Rats were sacrificed at the end of the infusion. Plasma MPL concentrations, blood lymphocyte counts, and hepatic cytosolic free receptor density, receptor mRNA, TAT mRNA, and TAT enzyme levels were quantitated. The pronounced steroid effects were evidenced by marked losses in body weights and changes in organ weights. All four treatments caused a dose-dependent reduction in hepatic receptor levels, which correlated with the induction of TAT mRNA and TAT enzyme levels. The 7 day receptor mRNA and free receptor density correlated well with the model predicted steady-state levels. However, the extent of enzyme induction was markedly higher than that predicted by the model suggesting that the usual receptor/gene-mediated effects observed upon single/intermittent dosing of MPL may be countered by alterations in other aspects of the system. A mean IC50 of 6.1 ng/mL was estimated for the immunosuppressive effects of methylprednisolone on blood lymphocytes. The extent and duration of steroid exposure play a critical role in mediating steroid effects and advanced PK/PD models provide unique insights into controlling factors.
PMCID: PMC4207287  PMID: 12194533
pharmacodynamics; pharmacogenomics; methylprednisolone; tyrosine amino-transferase
17.  Pharmacoimmunodynamics of Methylprednisolone: Trafficking of Helper T Lymphocytes 
A two-compartment closed model was used to characterize the cell trafficking behavior of helper T cells in response to various single doses of methylprednisolone. Steroids are assumed to inhibit the circadian-determined cell return from extravascular sites to blood in a classic inhibitory pattern reflected by an IC50. The rate of cell efflux from tissues is modeled with a cosine function having a period of 24 hr and a maximum at about 1 AM. Nonlinear least-squares regression employing differential equations was used to analyze helper T-cell data from three human studies from our laboratory. The IC50 value of methylprednisolone of 12–19 ng/ml approximates receptor KD values. Simulations were performed to demonstrate the log-linear role of steroid dose or AUC on the integral of effect of helper T cells over a wide range of methylprednisolone doses. This pharmacodynamic model allows flexibility for characterizing any type of steroid dosing regimen and is relevent in describing complex response data for corticosteroid immunosuppressive effects
PMCID: PMC4207299  PMID: 1479558
methylprednisolone; helper T lymphocytes; pharmacodynamics; cell trafficking; chronopharmacology; immunosuppression
18.  Comparison of Four Basic Models of Indirect Pharmacodynamic Responses 
Four basic models for characterizing indirect pharmacodynamic responses after drug administration have been developed and compared. The models are based on drug effects (inhibition or stimulation) on the factors controlling either the input or the dissipation of drug response. Pharmacokinetic parameters of methylprednisolone were used to generate plasma concentration and response-time profiles using computer simulations. It was found that the responses produced showed a slow onset and a slow return to baseline. The time of maximal response was dependent on the model and dose. In each case, hysteresis plots showed that drug concentrations preceded the response. When the responses were fitted with pharmacodynamic models based on distribution to a hypothetical effect compartment, the resulting parameters were dose-dependent and inferred biological implausibility. Indirect response models must be treated as distinct from conventional pharmacodynamic models which assume direct action of drugs. The assumptions, equations, and data patterns for the four basic indirect response models provide a starting point for evaluation of pharmacologic effects where the site of action precedes or follows the measured response variable.
PMCID: PMC4207304  PMID: 8133465
pharmacodynamics; indirect response; effect compartment model; sigmoid Emax model; methylprednisolone
19.  Mathematical Modeling of Corticosteroid Pharmacogenomics in Rat Muscle following Acute and Chronic Methylprednisolone Dosing 
Molecular pharmaceutics  2008;5(2):328-339.
The pharmacogenomic effects of a corticosteroid (CS) were assessed in rat skeletal muscle using microarrays. Adrenalectomized (ADX) rats were treated with methylprednisolone (MPL) by either 50 mg/kg intravenous injection or 7-day 0.3 mg/kg/h infusion through subcutaneously implanted pumps. RNAs extracted from individual rat muscles were hybridized to Affymetrix Rat Genome Genechips. Data mining yielded 653 and 2316 CS-responsive probe sets following MPL bolus and infusion treatments. Of these, 196 genes were controlled by MPL under both dosing conditions. Cluster analysis revealed that 124 probe sets exhibited three typical expression dynamic profiles following acute dosing. Cluster A consisted of up-regulated probe sets which were grouped into five subclusters each exhibiting unique temporal patterns during the infusion. Cluster B comprised down-regulated probe sets which were divided into two subclusters with distinct dynamics during the infusion. Cluster C probe sets exhibited delayed down-regulation under both bolus and infusion conditions. Among those, 104 probe sets were further grouped into subclusters based on their profiles following chronic MPL dosing. Several mathematical models were proposed and adequately captured the temporal patterns for each subcluster. Multiple types of dosing regimens are needed to resolve common determinants of gene regulation as chronic exposure results in unexpected differences in gene expression compared to acute dosing. Pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) modeling provides a quantitative tool for elucidating the complexities of CS pharmacogenomics in skeletal muscle.
PMCID: PMC4196382  PMID: 18271548
Microarray studies; pharmacokinetics; pharmacodynamics; mathematical models; computational biology
20.  Altered Methylprednisolone Pharmacodynamics in Healthy Subjects With Histamine N-Methyltransferase C314T Genetic Polymorphism 
Journal of clinical pharmacology  2006;46(4):408-417.
This study investigated the potential differences in methylprednisolone pharmacodynamics between healthy subjects with different histamine N-methyltransferase (HNMT) C314T genotypes. Six individuals with C/C genotype and 4 with C/T genotype were administered a single intravenous dose of methylprednisolone 0.6 mg/kg ideal body weight in a randomized 2-period manner. Methylprednisolone plasma concentrations were fitted with a 1-compartment model. Cortisol and whole blood histamine suppression were assessed by indirect response models, with circadian baseline cortisol analyzed by Fourier analysis. The area between the baseline and effect curve and the area under the effect versus time curve suppression ratiowere used to characterize plasma histamine suppression. Methylprednisolone pharmacokinetics and plasma and whole blood histamine suppression were similar between the 2 genotype groups. Median nadir of cortisol and the 50% inhibitory concentration for cortisol were significantly higher in subjects with C/T genotype than those with C/C genotype (P = .031 and .033, respectively, Wilcoxon rank sum test). Subjects who are heterozygous for the T314 variant allele thus appeared less sensitive to the suppressive effects of methylprednisolone on cortisol secretion.
PMCID: PMC4196422  PMID: 16554448
Corticosteroids; methylprednisolone pharmacodynamics; cortisol suppression; histamine suppression; HNMT polymorphism
21.  Modeling of Corticosteroid Effects on Hepatic Low-Density Lipoprotein Receptors and Plasma Lipid Dynamics in Rats 
Pharmaceutical research  2007;25(4):769-780.
This study examines methylprednisolone (MPL) effects on the dynamics of hepatic low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) mRNA and plasma lipids associated with increased risks for atherosclerosis.
Materials and methods
Normal male Wistar rats were given 50 mg/kg MPL intramuscularly (IM) and sacrificed at various times. Measurements included plasma MPL and CST, hepatic glucocorticoid receptor (GR) mRNA, cytosolic GR density and hepatic LDLR mRNA, and plasma total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDLC), high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDLC), and triglycerides (TG).
MPL showed bi-exponential disposition with two first-order absorption components. Hepatic GR and LDLR mRNA exhibited circadian patterns which were disrupted by MPL. Down-regulation in GR mRNA (40–50%) was followed by a delayed rebound phase. LDLR mRNA exhibited transient down-regulation (60–70%). Cytosolic GR density was significantly suppressed but returned to baseline by 72 h. Plasma TC and LDLC showed increases (55 and 142%) at 12 h. A mechanistic receptor/gene pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic model was developed to describe CS effects on hepatic LDLR mRNA and plasma cholesterols.
Our PK/PD model was able to satisfactorily capture the MPL effects on hepatic LDLR, its relationship to various plasma cholesterols, and builds the foundation to explore this area in the future.
PMCID: PMC4196440  PMID: 17674160
cholesterol; corticosteroids; glucocorticoid receptors; LDL receptors; lipids; pharmacodynamics
22.  Microarray analysis of the temporal response of skeletal muscle to methylprednisolone: comparative analysis of two dosing regimens 
Physiological genomics  2007;30(3):282-299.
The transcriptional response of skeletal muscle to chronic corticosteroid exposure was examined over 168 h and compared with the response profiles observed following a single dose of corticosteroid. Male adrenalectomized Wistar rats were given a constant-rate infusion of 0.3 mg•kg−1•h−1 methylprednisolone for up to 7 days via subcutaneously implanted minipumps. Four control and forty drug-treated animals were killed at ten different time points during infusion. Liver total RNAs were hybridized to 44 individual Affymetrix REA230A gene chips. Previously, we described a filtration approach for identifying genes of interest in microarray data sets developed from tissues of rats treated with methylprednisolone (MPL) following acute dosing. Here, a similar approach involving a series of three filters was applied sequentially to identify genes of interest. These filters were designed to eliminate probe sets that were not expressed in the tissue, not regulated by the drug, or did not meet defined quality control standards. Filtering eliminated 86% of probe sets, leaving a remainder of 2,316 for further consideration. In a previous study, 653 probe sets were identified as MPL regulated following administration of a single (acute) dose of the drug. Comparison of the two data sets yielded 196 genes identified as regulated by MPL in both dosing regimens. Because of receptor downregulation, it was predicted that genes regulated by receptor-glucocorticoid response element interactions would exhibit tolerance in chronic profiles. However, many genes did not exhibit steroid tolerance, indicating that present perspectives on the mechanism of glucocorticoid action cannot entirely explain all temporal profiles.
PMCID: PMC4186702  PMID: 17473217
glucocorticoids; corticosteroids; Affymetrix gene chips; gene expression; time series
23.  Assessing the Dynamics of Nuclear Glucocorticoid-Receptor Complex: Adding Flexibility to Gene Expression Modeling1 
A retrospective analysis was performed to modify our fourth-generation pharmacodynamic model for glucocorticoid receptor (GR) dynamics with incorporation of more physiological features. This modified model was developed by integrating previously reported free cytosolic GR and GR mRNA data following single (10, 50 mg/kg) and dual (50 mg/kg at 0 and 24 hr) intravenous doses of methylprednisolone (MPL) in adrenalectomized (ADX) male Wistar rats with several in vitro studies describing real-time kinetics of the transfer of rat steroid-receptor complex from the cell cytosol to the nucleus. Additionally, free hepatic cytosolic GR and its mRNA data from a chronic infusion dosing study of MPL (0.1 and 0.3 mg/kg/hr) in male ADX Wistar rats were used to verify the predictability of the model. Incorporation of information regarding in vitro receptor kinetics allowed us to describe the receptor-mediated pharmacogenomic effects of MPL for a larger variety of genes in rat liver from microarray studies. These included early responsive gene like CCAAT/enhancer binding protein-β (CEBP-β), a transcription factor, as well as the later responsive gene for tyrosine aminotransferase (TAT), a classical biomarker of glucocorticoid (GC) genomic effects. This more mechanistic model of GR dynamics can be applied to characterize profiles for a greater number of genes in liver.
PMCID: PMC4184272  PMID: 17285360
glucocorticoids; glucocorticoid receptor; nuclear localization; pharmacodynamics; methylprednisolone; pharmacogenomics
24.  Context Specific Transcription Factor Prediction 
Annals of biomedical engineering  2007;35(6):1053-1067.
One of the goals of systems biology is the identification of regulatory mechanisms that govern an organism’s response to external stimuli. Transcription factors have been hypothesized as a major contributor to an organism’s response to various outside stimuli, and a great deal of work has been done to predict the set of transcription factors which regulate a given gene. Most of the current methods seek to identify possible binding sites from genomic sequence. Initial attempts at predicting transcription factors from genomic sequences suffered from the problem of false positives. Making the problem more difficult, it has also been shown that while predicted binding sites might be false positives, they can be shown to bind to their corresponding sequences in vitro. One method for rectifying this is through the use of phylogenetic analysis in which only regions which show high evolutionary conservation are analyzed. However such an approach may be too stringent because of the level of degeneracy shown in transcription factor binding site position weight matrices. Due to the degeneracy, there may be only a few bases that need to be conserved across species. Therefore, while a sequence may not show a high level of evolutionary conservation, these sequences may still show high affinity for the same transcription factor. In predicting transcription factor binding we explore the notion that “Co-expression implies co-regulation” [Allocco et al. BMC Bioinformatics 5:18, 2004]. With multiple genes requiring similar transcription factors binding sites, there exists a basis for eliminating false positives. This method allows for the selection of transcription factors binding sites that are active under a given experimental paradigm, thereby allowing us to indirectly incorporate the effects of chromosome and recognition site presentation upon transcription factor binding prediction. Rather than having to rationalize that a few transcription factors binding sites are over-represented in a cluster of genes, one can show that a few transcription factors are active in the cluster of genes that have been grouped together. Although the method focuses on predicting experiment-specific transcription factor binding sites, it is possible that if such a methodology were used in an iterative process where different experiments were analyzed, one could obtain a comprehensive set of transcription factors binding sites which regulate the various dynamic responses shown by biological systems under a variety of conditions hence building a more comprehensive model of transcriptional regulation.
PMCID: PMC4184431  PMID: 17377845
Corticosteroids; Gene expression; Transcription factor binding site; Phylogenetics
25.  Reduced Methylprednisolone Clearance Causing Prolonged Pharmacodynamics in a Healthy Subject Was Not Associated With CYP3A5*3 Allele or a Change in Diet Composition 
Journal of clinical pharmacology  2006;46(5):515-526.
The influence of diet and genetics was investigated in a healthy white person who had distinctly low methylprednisolone clearance. Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic parameter values were similar on 2 occasions during the consumption of a low-carbohydrate diet and a Weight Watchers diet, indicating that the decreased clearance was unlikely attributable to a change in diet composition. Although the subject was found to be homozygous for CYP3A5*3, genetic findings were not significant for a number of other CYP3A4 and CYP3A5 allelic variants. Because of the high prevalence of CYP3A5*3/*3 in whites and because 5 of 7 white control subjects are also homozygous for CYP3A5*3, this genotype cannot fully explain the reduced metabolism of the drug. Other genetic or contributing factors might have been involved. New polymerase chain reaction–based genotyping methods for functionally defective CYP3A5*6, *8, *9, and *10 alleles were developed in this study. These assays will be useful for CYP3A5 genotype analysis in future clinical studies.
PMCID: PMC4182867  PMID: 16638735
Methylprednisolone clearance; steroid pharmacodynamics; low-carbohydrate diet; CYP3A5*3 allele; genotyping method

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