Computation of log BB values for compounds transported through carrier-mediated mechanisms using in vitro permeability data from brain microvessel endothelial cell (BMEC) monolayers

Helen H. Usansky, Patrick Sinko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations


Purpose. To explore the possibility of determining in vivo log BB values (the logarithm value of brain to plasma concentration ratio) from in vitro permeability data measured in brain microvessel endothelial cell (BMEC) monolayers. Methods. An equilibrium mathematical model was developed: log BB = log(Ca/Cb) + log Kbr:pl, where Cb and Ca are the drug concentrations at equilibrium in the basolateral (B) and apical (A) sides of BMECs in an A-to-B directional diffusion system and Kbr:pl is the brain-plasma partition coefficient. With this model, murine log BB values were calculated for 24 pharmaceutical compounds, mostly Pgp substrates. Results. Calculated log BB values correlated well to experimental values (r2 = 0.854, slope = 0.907 ± 0.080), demonstrating that the model could reasonably predict brain penetration for compounds that are involved in carrier-mediated transport mechanisms. For a second data set that included volatile organic compounds (log BB = log Kbr:pl), log Kbr:pl values were also shown to correlate well with their respective experimental log BB values (r2 = 0.876, slope = 0.973 ± 0.082), demonstrating that log Kbr:pl is an excellent descriptor for log BB when a compound penetrates the blood-brain barrier by passive diffusion only. Conclusion. The equilibrium model demonstrated a reasonable ability to compute in vivo log BB values, regardless of the involvement or mechanisms of carrier-mediated transport.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)390-396
Number of pages7
JournalPharmaceutical research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2003


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Pharmacology (medical)


  • BBB permeability
  • BMEC monolayers
  • Carrier-mediated transport
  • Log BB
  • Pgp substrates

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