γ-Hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), a drug of abuse, exhibits saturable renal clearance and capacity-limited metabolism. The objectives of this study were to construct a mechanistic toxicokinetic (TK) model describing saturable renal reabsorption and capacity-limited metabolism of GHB and to predict the effects of inhibition of renal reabsorption on GHB TK in the plasma and urine. GHB was administered by iv bolus (200–1,000 mg/kg) to male Sprague-Dawley rats and plasma and urine samples were collected for up to 6 h post-dose. GHB concentrations were determined by LC/MS/MS. GHB plasma concentration and urinary excretion were well-described by a TK model incorporating plasma and kidney compartments, alongwith two tissue and two ultrafiltrate compartments. The estimate of the Michaelis-Menten constant for renal reabsorption (Km,R) was 0.46 mg/ml which is consistent with in vitro estimates of monocarboxylate transporter (MCT)-mediated uptake of GHB (0.48 mg/ml). Simulation studies assessing inhibition of renal reabsorption of GHB demonstrated increased time-averaged renal
clearance and GHB plasma AUC, independent of the inhibition mechanism assessed.Co-administration of GHB (600 mg/kg iv) and L-lactate (330 mg/kg iv bolus plus 121 mg/kg/h iv infusion), a known inhibitor of MCTs, resulted in a significant decrease in GHB plasma AUC and an increase in time-averaged renal clearance, consistent with the model simulations. These results suggest that inhibition of renal reabsorption of GHB is a viable therapeutic strategy for the treatment of GHB overdoses. Furthermore, the mechanistic TK model provides a useful in silico tool for the evaluation of potential therapeutic strategies.