Quantitative evaluation of alternative mechanisms of blood disposition of di(n-butyl) phthalate and mono(n-butyl) phthalate in rats.
Phthalate esters are ubiquitous, low-level environmental contaminants that induce testicular toxicity in laboratory animals. The diester is rapidly metabolized in the gut to the monoester, which causes the testicular toxicity. Several physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) model structures have been evaluated for di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) and mono(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (MEHP). The objective of this study was to test these PBPK models for a less lipophilic phthalate diester, di(n-butyl) phthalate (DBP), and monoester, mono(n-butyl) phthalate (MBP). Alternate models describing enterohepatic circulation, diffusion-limitation, tissue pH gradients (pH trapping), and a simpler, flow-limited model were evaluated. A combined diffusion-limited and pH trapping model was also tested. MBP tissue:blood partition coefficients were similar when determined either experimentally by a nonvolatile, vial equilibration technique or algorithmically. All other parameters were obtained from the literature or estimated from MBP blood concentrations following intravenous or oral exposure to DBP or MBP. A flow-limited model was unable to predict MBP blood levels, whereas each alternative model had statistically better predictions. The combined diffusion-limited and pH trapping model was the best overall, having the highest log-likelihood function value. This result is consistent with a previous finding that the pH trapping model was the best model for describing DEHP and MEHP blood dosimetry, though it was necessary to extend the model to include diffusion-limitation. The application of the pH trapping model is a step toward developing a generic model structure for all phthalate esters, though more work is required before a generic structure can be identified with confidence. Development of a PBPK model structure applicable to all phthalate esters would support more realistic assessments of risk to human health from exposure to one or more members of this class of compounds.
Keys, DA; Wallace, DG; Kepler, TB; Conolly, RB
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