Methodologic factors influencing plasma binding of alpha-1-acid glycoprotein-bound and albumin-bound drugs

D. S. Morse, D. R. Abernethy, D. J. Greenblatt

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12 Scopus citations


Plasma binding of imipramine and lidocaine, two drugs that bind predominantly to alpha-1 acid glycoprotein (AAG), and of diazepam and phenytoin, albumin-bound drugs, were studied in fresh human plasma. Binding was determined by equilibrium dialysis with 0.1 M pH 7.4 phosphate buffer at 37°C. AAG was determined by immunodiffusion. Lidocaine free fraction (FF) (30-35%) was time-dependent, reaching equilibrium by five hours. However, dialysis time exceeding 8 hours greatly increased lidocaine FF (60%) accompanied by a decrease in AAG concentration. Lidocaine binding and AAG-concentration were not affected by plasma freezing, and were independent of lidocaine concentrations from 0.5-10 μg/ml. Imipramine behaved comparably, with FF increasing from 15% at 5 hours of dialysis to 30% at 24 h, concurrent with a drop in AAG concentration. Imipramine binding and AAG concentration were also independent of plasma freezing and drug concentration from 0.25 to 10.0 μg/ml. Binding of diazepam (FF = 1.2%) and phenytoin (FF = 17%) were stable at 24 hours, not affected by sample freezing or drug concentration, and were independent of AAG concentration. Therefore, changes in AAG concentration alter plasma protein binding of the AAG-bound drugs lidocaine and imipramine. Extended dialysis results in decreased concentrations of immunoreactive AAG and increased FF. In contrast, the binding of albumin-bound drugs diazepam and phenytoin are not affected by these variables.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)535-539
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Clinical Pharmacology Therapy and Toxicology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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