Development of sub-models of organs within physiologically-based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) principles and beyond simple perfusion limitations may be challenging because of underdeveloped in vitro-in vivo extrapolation approaches or lack of suitable clinical data for model refinement. However, the advantage of such models in predicting clinical observations in divergent patient groups is now commonly acknowledged. Mechanistic understanding of altered renal secretion in renal impairment is one area that may benefit from such models, despite knowledge gaps in renal pathophysiology (Rowland Yeo et al., 2011; Sayama et al., 2014). In the current study a PBPK kidney model was developed for digoxin, accounting for the roles of organic anion transporting peptide 4C1 (OATP4C1) and P-glycoprotein (P-gp) in its tubular secretion, with the aim to investigate the impact of age and renal impairment (moderate to severe) on renal drug disposition. Initial PBPK simulations based on changes in glomerular filtration rate (GFR) underestimated the observed reduction in digoxin renal excretion clearance (CLR) in subjects with moderately impaired renal function relative to healthy. Reduction in either proximal tubule cell number or the OATP4C1 abundance in the mechanistic kidney model successfully predicted 59% decrease in digoxin CLR, in particular when these changes were proportional to reduction in GFR. In contrast, predicted proximal tubule concentration of digoxin was only sensitive to changes in the transporter expression/ million proximal tubule cells. Based on the mechanistic modelling, reduced proximal tubule cellularity and OATP4C1 abundance, and inhibition of OATP4C1-mediated transport, are proposed as possible causes of reduced digoxin renal secretion in renally impaired patients.
- The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics