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Physiologically-Based Pharmacokinetic Modeling of Genistein in Rats, Part I: Model Development

Authors


*Address correspondence to Paul M. Schlosser, U.S. EPA, NCEA, M.D. B243-01, RTP, NC 27711, USA; tel: 919-541-4130; fax: 919-685-3330; schlosser.paul@epa.gov.

Abstract

Genistein is a phytoestrogen—a plant-derived compound that binds to and activates the estrogen receptor—occurring at high levels in soy beans and food products, leading to widespread human exposure. The numerous scientific publications available describing genistein's dosimetry, mechanisms of action, and identified or putative health effects in both experimental animals and humans make it ideal for examination as an example of endocrine-active compound (EAC). We developed a physiologically-based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) model to quantify the internal, target-tissue dosimetry of genistein in adult rats. Complexities of the model include enterohepatic circulation, binding of both genistein and its conjugates to plasma proteins, and the multiple compartments used to describe transport through the bile duct and gastrointestinal tract. Other aspects of the model are simple perfusion-limited transport to the tissue groups and first-order rates of metabolism, uptake, and excretion. We describe here the model structure and initial calibration of the model by fitting to a large data set for Wistar rats. The model structure can be readily extrapolated to describe genistein dosimetry in humans or modified to describe the dosimetry of other phytoestrogens and phenolic EACs. The model does a fair job of capturing the pharmacokinetics. Although it does not describe the interindividual variability and we have not identified a single set of parameters that provide a good fit to the data for both oral and intravenous exposures, we believe it provides a good initial attempt at PBPK modeling for genistein, which can serve as a template for other phytoestrogens and in the design of future experiments and research that can be used to fill data gaps and better estimate model parameters.

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