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Quantitative systems pharmacology Model to characterize valproic acid-induced hyperammonemia and the effect of L-carnitine supplementation

Autores: Schiavo, A.; Maldonado, C.; Vázquez, M.; Fagiolino, P.; Fernández de Trocóniz Fernández, José Ignacio; Ibarra, M. (Autor de correspondencia)
ISSN: 0928-0987
Volumen: 183
Páginas: 106399
Fecha de publicación: 2023
Valproic acid (VPA) is a short-chain fatty acid widely prescribed in the treatment of seizure disorders and epi-lepsy syndromes, although its therapeutic value may be undermined by its toxicity. VPA serious adverse effects are reported to have a significant and dose-dependent incidence, many associated with VPA-induced hyper-ammonemia. This effect has been linked with reduced levels of carnitine; an endogenous compound involved in fatty acid's mitochondrial beta-oxidation by facilitation of its entrance via the carnitine shuttle. High exposure to VPA can lead to carnitine depletion causing a misbalance between the intra-mitochondrial beta-oxidation and the microsomal co-oxidation, a pathway that produces toxic metabolites such as 4-en-VPA which inhibits ammonia elimination. Moreover, a reduction in carnitine levels might be also related to VPA-induced obesity and lipids disorder. In turn, L-carnitine supplementation (CS) has been recommended and empirically used to reduce VPA's hepatotoxicity. The aim of this work was to develop a Quantitative Systems Pharmacology (QSP) model to characterize VPA-induced hyperammonemia and evaluate the benefits of CS in preventing hyperammonemia under both chronic treatment and after VPA overdosing. The QSP model included a VPA population pharma-cokinetics model that allowed the prediction of total and unbound concentrations after single and multiple oral doses considering its saturable binding to plasma proteins. Predictions of time courses for 2-en-VPA, 4-en-DPA, VPA-glucuronide, carnitine, ammonia and urea levels, and for the relative change in fatty acids, Acetyl-CoA, and glutamate reflected the VPA induced changes and the efficacy of the treatment with L-carnitine. The QSP model was implemented to give a rational basis for the L-carnitine dose selection to optimize CS depending on VPA dosage regime and to assess the currently recommended L-carnitine rescue therapy after VPA overdosing. Results show that a L-carnitine dose equal to the double of the VPA dose using the same interdose interval would maintain the ammonia levels at baseline. The QSP model may be expanded in the future to describe other adverse events linked to VPA-induced changes in endogenous compounds.