The subcellular distribution of biperiden (BP), trihexyphenidyl (TP) and (-)-quinuclidinyl benzylate (QNB) in brain, heart and lung following high dose (3.2 mg/kg) i.v. administration was investigated in rats. The subcellular distribution of BP or TP used clinically confirmed with that of QNB, a typical potent central muscarinic antagonist. The concentration-time courses of the brain subcellular fractions for these drugs were of two types which decreased slowly and in parallel to the plasma concentration. The subcellular distribution in the brain and heart was dependent on the protein amount of each fraction. The percent post-nuclear fraction (P2) of the total concentration in the lung was characteristically about 3-5 times larger than that in the heart. It was elucidated that the distribution in the lung differs from that in the brain and heart, with high affinity which is not dependent on the protein amount in the P2 fraction containing lysosomes. On the other hand, at a low dose (650 mg/kg) of 3H-QNB, each fraction as a percentage of the total concentration in the brain increased in synaptic membrane and synaptic vesicles and decreased in nuclei and cytosol as compared with the high dose. These results show that although the tissue concentration-time courses of anticholinergic drugs appear to decrease simply in parallel to plasma concentration, the subcellular distribution exhibits a variety of patterns among various tissues.
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