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In vitro hepatic microsomal metabolism of meloxicam in koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus), brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula), ringtail possums (Pseudocheirus peregrinus), rats (Rattus norvegicus) and dogs (Canis lupus familiaris)


B. Kimble a, K.M. Li b, P. Valtchev c, D.P. Higgins a, M.B. Krockenberger a, M. Govendir a,⁎

a Faculty of Veterinary Science, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia
b Discipline of Pharmacology, Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia
c School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia



Quantitative and qualitative aspects of in vitro metabolism of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug meloxicam, mediated via hepatic microsomes of specialized foliage (Eucalyptus) eating marsupials (koalas and ringtail possums), a generalized foliage eating marsupial (brushtail possum), rats, and dogs, are described. Using a substrate depletion method, intrinsic hepatic clearance (in vitro Clint) was determined. Significantly, rates of oxidative transformation of meloxicam, likely mediated via cytochromes P450 (CYP), were higher in marsupials compared to rats or dogs. The rank order of apparent in vitro Clint was brushtail possums (n = 3) (mean: 394 μL/min/mg protein), >koalas (n = 6) (50), >ringtail possums (n = 2) (36) (with no significant difference between koalas and ringtail possums), >pooled rats (3.2) > pooled dogs (in which the rate of depletion, as calculated by the ratio of the substrate remaining was <20% and too slow to determine). During the depletion of meloxicam, at a first-order rate constant, 5-hydroxymethyl metabolite (M1) was identified in the brushtail possums and the rat as the major metabolite. However, multiple hydroxyl metabolites were observed in the koala (M1, M2, and M3) and the ringtail possum (M1 and M3) indicating that these specialized foliage-eating marsupials have diverse oxidation capacity to metabolize meloxicam. Using a well-stirred model, the apparent in vitro Clint of meloxicam for koalas and the rat was further scaled to compare with published in vivo Cl. The closest in vivo Cl prediction from in vitro data of koalas was demonstrated with scaled hepatic Cl(total) (average fold error = 1.9) excluding unbound fractions in the blood and microsome values; whereas for rats, the in-vitro scaled hepatic Cl fu(blood, mic), corrected with unbound fractions in the blood and microsome values, provided the best prediction (fold error = 1.86). This study indicates that eutherians such as rats or dogs serve as inadequate models for dosage extrapolation of this drug to marsupials due to differences in hepatic turnover rate. Furthermore, as in vivo Cl is one of the pharmacokinetic indexes for determining therapeutic drug dosages, this study demonstrates the utility of in vitro to in vivo scaling as an alternative prediction method of drug Cl in koalas.

  • All
  • 2013
  • Biogeography
  • Biology
  • Chlamydia
  • Diet
  • Disease
  • Ecology
  • Ellis
  • Eucalyptus
  • Genetics
  • Habitat
  • Infection
  • Interventions
  • Koala
  • Lunney
  • Threats
  • Timms
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