Transfer of dideoxyinosine across the human isolated placenta.

GI Henderson, AB Perez, Y. Yang, RL Hamby, RS Schenken, S. Schenker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


1. Dideoxyinosine (ddI) has recently been approved for the treatment of patients with HIV infection. As increasing numbers of such patients are pregnant, we wished to define the rate and mechanism(s) of ddI transfer by the placenta to the foetus. Using isolated single perfused human term placental cotyledons, the drug was shown to cross the placenta from mother to foetus at a rate of 25% that of a freely diffusible marker, antipyrine, and at about half the rate of zidovudine (AZT). The transfer of ddI was similar in both directions (maternal to foetal and the reverse), equal to that of L‐glucose, a passively transported sugar, and was not inhibited by excess inosine or uric acid (structural analogues of ddI). ddI did not cross to the foetus against a concentration gradient. The transport process appeared to be passive and it was not altered by AZT. 2. ddI was not metabolized in the Krebs Ringer buffer/albumin perfusate, and placental homogenates converted only 4% of ddI to hypoxanthine over the 4 h incubation. However, when maternal term or cord blood was incubated with ddI for 3 h, 50% of the drug was converted to hypoxanthine in maternal blood and to hypoxanthine and uric acid in cord blood. 3. Thus, ddI metabolism in maternal blood should decrease its net transfer to the foetus in vivo. In the foetal circulation, ddI will be further metabolized by erythrocytes to hypoxanthine and possibly to uric acid. Hence, the fraction of administered ddI delivered to foetal tissues should be much lower than that of AZT. 1994 The British Pharmacological Society

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-242
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacology


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