Author(s): Homma M, Jayewardene AL, Gambertoglio J, Aweeka F
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Abstract Ribavirin is an antiviral agent used in the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus infection. One of the limitations associated with the use of ribavirin is a reversible anemia caused by its accumulation in erythrocytes. Therefore, it is of interest to determine ribavirin levels in erythrocytes, as well as in plasma, as these measurements may be predictive of hematotoxicity. In the present study, we describe a high-performance liquid chromatographic (HPLC) assay for ribavirin in whole blood to estimate concentrations of free ribavirin and phosphorylated anabolites in erythrocytes. Since ribavirin exists primarily as phosphorylated anabolites (mono-, di-, and triphosphates) in erythrocytes, whole-blood extracts were initially dephosphorylated with acid phosphatase. The enzyme-treated samples were subjected to phenyl boronic acid column extraction for cleanup. The purified fraction was analyzed by reversed-phase HPLC, which was optimized for determination of ribavirin levels in whole blood. The recoveries of ribavirin from whole blood ranged from 63.1 to 90.7\% at concentrations ranging from 1.67 to 40.0 microM. Intra- and interassay variations estimated at these concentrations were 3.2 to 10.4 and 4.7 to 11.7\%, respectively. This method was used to quantitate ribavirin in samples both treated and untreated with acid phosphatase to estimate the extent of intracellular phosphorylation in erythrocytes. The method was also used to evaluate the effects of dipyridamole, a nucleoside transporter inhibitor, on ribavirin disposition in erythrocytes in in vitro experiments.
This article was published in Antimicrob Agents Chemother
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy