Dextran sulfate is poorly absorbed after oral administration

K. J. Lorentsen, C. W. Hendrix, J. M. Collins, D. M. Kornhauser, B. G. Petty, R. W. Klecker, C. Flexner, R. H. Eckel, P. S. Lietman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Study Objective: To determine whether dextran sulfate (molecular weight, 7000 to 8000 daltons; 17% to 20% sulfur), a synthetic heparin analogue with anti-human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) activity in vitro, is absorbed after oral administration. Design: Open-label, single-center study in two parts. The first part was a bioavailability study in which six subjects received a single 1800-mg oral dose and a single 225- or 300-mg intravenous dose. The second part was a study of the dose-response relation between dextran sulfate and total plasma lipolytic activity in which twelve subjects were given a single infusion of either 0.05, 0.5, 5, or 50 mg of dextran sulfate. Subjects: Eighteen healthy volunteers. Measurements and Main Results: In the bioavailability study, plasma and urine dextran-sulfate concentrations were measured by a competitive binding assay after each dose. In addition, two bioassays were used to assess plasma concentrations: plasma lipolytic activity and activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT). After the oral dose, plasma concentrations were not measurable with the competitive binding assay (lower limit of sensitivity, 1 μg/mL); less than 0.5% of the dose was recovered in the urine, the APTT did not increase, and the median increase in the plasma lipolytic activity was only twofold (maximum increase, 11-fold). In contrast, after the intravenous dose of 225 mg, peak plasma concentrations by competitive binding assay were 26 to 35 μg/mL (median, 28 μg/mL); 25% to 29% (median, 25%) of the dose was recovered in the urine; the APTT increased to 3.5 to 9.2 times the baseline value (median increase, 6.9 times), and the plasma lipolytic activity increased by 185 to 548 times the baseline value (median increase, 438 times). In the dose-response study, intravenous doses as low as 0.5 mg produced significant increases in the plasma lipolytic activity. There was a steep dose-response curve between 0.5 and 50 mg. Conclusion: Dextran sulfate is very poorly absorbed after oral administration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)561-566
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of internal medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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