Mechanistic PBPK modeling of urine pH effect on renal and systemic disposition of methamphetamine and amphetamines

Weize Huang, Lindsay C. Czuba, Nina Isoherranen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The effect of urine pH on renal excretion and systemic disposition has been observed for many drugs and metabolites. When urine pH is altered, tubular ionization, passive reabsorption, renal clearance, and systemic exposure of drugs and metabolites may all change dramatically, raising clinically significant concerns. Surprisingly, the urine pH effect on drug disposition is not routinely explored in humans, and regulatory agencies have neither developed guidance on this issue nor required industry to conduct pertinent human trials. In this study, we hypothesized that physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modeling could be used as a cost-effective method to examine potential urine pH effect on drug and metabolite disposition. Our previously developed and verified mechanistic kidney model was integrated with a full-body PBPK model to simulate renal clearance and area under the plasma concentration-time curve (AUC) with varying urine pH statuses using methamphetamine and amphetamine asmodel compounds. We first developed and verified drug models for methamphetamine and amphetamine under normal urine pH condition [absolute average fold error (AAFE) < 1.25 at study level]. Then, acidic and alkaline urine scenarios were simulated. Our simulation results show that the renal excretion and plasma concentration-time profiles for methamphetamine and amphetamine could be recapitulated under different urine pH (AAFE < 2 at individual level). The methamphetamine-amphetamine parent-metabolite full-body PBPK model also successfully simulated amphetamine plasma concentration-time profiles (AAFE < 1.25 at study level) and amphetamine/methamphetamine urinary concentration ratios (AAFE < 2 at individual level) after dosing methamphetamine. This demonstrates that our mechanistic PBPK model can predict urine pH effect on systemic and urinary disposition of drugs and metabolites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)488-501
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2020 by The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology


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