by Hauke Rühs, Achim Becker, Anne Drescher, John C. Panetta, Ching-Hon Pui, Mary V. Relling, Ulrich Jaehde
Elevated homocysteine concentrations have been associated with methotrexate-induced neurotoxicity. Based on methotrexate and homocysteine plasma concentrations of 494 children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia treated with high-dose methotrexate in the TOTAL XV study, a pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) model was built with NONMEM. Several compartment and indirect response models were investigated. The pharmacokinetic disposition of methotrexate was best described by a two-compartment model. Homocysteine concentrations were included by an indirect response model where methotrexate inhibition of the homocysteine elimination rate was described by an Emax model. The homocysteine baseline level was found to be age-dependent. Simulations revealed that folinate rescue therapy does not affect peak concentrations of homocysteine but leads to a modestly reduced homocysteine exposure. In conclusion, our PK/PD model describes the increase of methotrexate-induced HCY concentrations with satisfactory precision and can be applied to assess the effect of folinate regimens on the HCY concentration-time course.