Physiologically based pharmacokinetic modeling of zinc oxide nanoparticles and zinc nitrate in mice

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Zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) have been widely used in consumer products, therapeutic agents, and drug delivery systems. However, the fate and behavior of ZnO NPs in living organisms are not well described. The purpose of this study was to develop a physiologically based pharmacokinetic model to describe the dynamic interactions of65ZnO NPs in mice. We estimated key physicochemical parameters of partition coefficients and excretion or elimination rates, based on our previously published data quantifying the biodistributions of 10 nm and 71 nm65ZnO NPs and zinc nitrate(65Zn(NO3)2) in various mice tissues. The time-dependent partition coefficients and excretion or elimination rates were used to construct our physiologically based pharmacokinetic model. In general, tissue partition coefficients of65ZnO NPs were greater than those of65Zn(NO3)2, particularly the lung partition coefficient of 10 nm65ZnO NPs. Sensitivity analysis revealed that 71 nm65ZnO NPs and65Zn(NO3)2 were sensitive to excretion and elimination rates in the liver and gastrointestinal tract. Although the partition coefficient of the brain was relative low, it increased time-dependently for65ZnO NPs and65Zn(NO3)2. The simulation of65Zn(NO3)2 was well fitted with the experimental data. However, replacing partition coefficients of65ZnO NPs with those of65Zn(NO3)2 after day 7 greatly improved the fitness of simulation, suggesting that ZnO NPs might decompose to zinc ion after day 7. In this study, we successfully established a potentially predictive dynamic model for slowly decomposed NPs. More caution is suggested for exposure to65ZnO NPs <10 nm because those small65ZnO NPs tend to accumulate in the body for a relatively longer time than 71 nm65ZnO NPs and65Zn(NO3)2 do.




Chen, W. Y., Cheng, Y. H., Hsieh, N. H., Wu, B. C., Chou, W. C., Ho, C. C., … Lin, P. (2015). Physiologically based pharmacokinetic modeling of zinc oxide nanoparticles and zinc nitrate in mice. International Journal of Nanomedicine, 10, 6277–6292.

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