Peer-Reviewed Publications

      Translational modeling of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine dosimetry in human airways for treating viral respiratory infections

      Kolli, A. R.; Calvino-Martin, F.; Hoeng, J.
      Jan 9, 2022

      Purpose: Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are effective against respiratory viruses in vitro. However, they lack antiviral efficacy upon oral administration. Translation of in vitro to in vivo exposure is necessary for understanding the disconnect between the two to develop effective therapeutic strategies. Methods: We employed an in vitro ion-trapping kinetic model to predict the changes in the cytosolic and lysosomal concentrations of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine in cell lines and primary human airway cultures. A physiologically based pharmacokinetic model with detailed respiratory physiology was used to predict regional airway exposure and optimize dosing regimens. Results: At their reported in vitro effective concentrations in cell lines, chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine cause a significant increase in their cytosolic and lysosomal concentrations by altering the lysosomal pH. Higher concentrations of the compounds are required to achieve similar levels of cytosolic and lysosomal changes in primary human airway cells in vitro. The predicted cellular and lysosomal concentrations in the respiratory tract for in vivo oral doses are lower than the in vitro effective levels. Pulmonary administration of aerosolized chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine is predicted to achieve high bound in vitro-effective concentrations in the respiratory tract, with low systemic exposure. Achieving effective cytosolic concentrations for activating immunomodulatory effects and adequate lysosomal levels for inhibiting viral replication could be key drivers for treating viral respiratory infections. Conclusion: Our analysis provides a framework for extrapolating in vitro effective concentrations of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to in vivo dosing regimens for treating viral respiratory infections.