• Article

A physiologically based pharmacokinetic model for the broad-spectrum antimicrobial zinc pyrithione I. Development and verification

The broad-spectrum antimicrobial zinc pyrithione (ZnPT) is used in numerous products ranging from in-can preservative/mildicide in paints to antidandruff shampoo. Although products containing ZnPT have a long history of safe use, regulatory agencies routinely set limits of exposure based upon toxicological considerations. The objective of this study was to create a physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) model for ZnPT in the rat for improving dose-response analysis of ZnPTinduced toxicity, reversible hindlimb weakness, the endpoint that has been used as the basis for ZnPT risk assessments. A rat oral PBPK model was developed that includes compartments for plasma, liver, kidneys, muscle, brain, and rapidly and slowly perfused tissues. Pyrithione metabolism to 2-(methylsulfonyl) pyridine (MSP) and glucuronide conjugates was incorporated into the model. The model was parameterized and optimized based upon data from single-dose intravenous (iv) and oral gavage pharmacokinetic studies of radiolabeled pyrithione ([C-14] PT) administered as zinc [C-14]-pyrithione (Zn-[C-14] PT) to adult female rats. It was further evaluated and refined using data from repeated, multidose oral gavage and dietary studies of Zn[C-14] PT in the adult female rat that included measurements of plasma PT concentration, the putative toxic species. The model replicated the observed short-term elimination kinetics of PT in plasma and [C-14] PT in whole blood following single doses and longer term temporal patterns of plasma and blood concentrations during repeated dosing schedules. The model also accounted for production and rapid elimination of S-glucuronide conjugates (SG) of 2-pyridinethiol and 2-pyridinethiol-1-oxide in urine, as well as production and slower elimination of MSP, the major [C-14] PT species in blood within several hours following administration of ZnPT. The model provided internal dosimetry predictions for a benchmark dose (BMD) analysis of hindlimb weakness in rats, and was used to combine gavage and dietary studies into a single internal dose-response model with area under the curve (AUC) for plasma PT as the internal dose metric. This PBPK model has predictive validity for calculating internal doses of PT and/or [C-14] PT from different routes of exposure in the rat.


Diamond, G. L., Skoulis, N. P., Jeffcoat, A. R., & Nash, J. F. (2017). A physiologically based pharmacokinetic model for the broad-spectrum antimicrobial zinc pyrithione: I. Development and verification. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health - Part A: Current Issues, 80(2), 69-90. https://doi.org/10.1080/15287394.2016.1245123