The objective of this study was to examine the hepatic disposition characteristics of 20-mer model phosphodiester oligonucleotide (PO) and its partially phosphorothioated (PS3) and fully phosphorothioated (PS) derivatives in the single-pass isolated rat liver perfusion system. [32P]-labeled oligonucleotides were momentarily introduced into this system through the portal vein as a bolus input mode, and the venous outflow patterns were evaluated using statistical moment analysis. The apparent volumes of distribution of these oligonucleotides were greater than those of reference substances for vascular space (erythrocytes) and extracellular space (human serum albumin), indicating a significant interaction between oligonucleotides and the liver. Significant hepatic uptake of oligonucleotides was also observed. About 20%, 36%, and 52% of the injected dose (3 μg/rat) was taken up by the liver during a single passage after bolus injection of PO, PS3, and PS, respectively. In the case of PS injection, slow efflux from the liver was observed in the latter phase of perfusion. This suggests that the hepatic uptake process of these oligonucleotides greatly depended on their types. The results of collagenase perfusion experiments suggest that PS3 oligonucleotides were taken up by both liver parenchymal and nonparenchymal cells. The amount of total recovery in the liver decreased substantially by coadministration of polyinosinic acid, dextran sulfate, polycytidic acid and 4-acetamido-4'-isothiocyano-stilbene-2,2'-disulfonic acid. This suggests that PS3 was taken up by the liver as an anionic molecule in a nonspecific manner.
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