Effect of probenecid on ventricular cerebrospinal fluid methotrexate pharmacokinetics after intralumbar administration in nonhuman primates

Wanda Salzer, Brigitte Widemann, Cynthia McCully, Peter C. Adamson, Frank M. Balis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Purpose: Intrathecal methotrexate (MTX) achieves high concentrations in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) following intralumbar administration. However, peak ventricular CSF MTX concentrations are highly variable and are < 10% of those achieved with intraventricular dosing. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the effect of intralumbar and intravenous probenecid on ventricular CSF MTX concentrations after intralumbar administration of MTX, and to compare the pharmacokinetics of MTX after intralumbar and intraventricular administration. Methods: Nonhuman primates (Macaca mulatta) with permanently implanted catheters in the lateral and fourth ventricles received 0.5 mg intraventricular (lateral ventricle) MTX, or 0.5 mg intralumbar MTX with and without intralumbar or intravenous probenecid. Animals were kept prone for 1 h after MTX administration, and ventricular CSF was sampled up to 48 h from a fourth ventricular Ommaya reservoir. MTX concentrations were measured using the dihydrofolate reductase enzyme inhibition assay. Area under the ventricular CSF MTX concentration-time curve (AUC) was used as a measure of MTX exposure. Results: Peak ventricular CSF MTX concentrations and AUCs were highly variable after intralumbar MTX administration. Ventricular CSF MTX AUCs increased by a mean of 3.2-fold after the addition of intralumbar probenecid. Intravenous administration of probenecid did not result in an increase in ventricular CSF MTX AUCs. Asymptomatic pleocytosis was observed in all animals after intralumbar probenecid administration. Ventricular CSF MTX concentrations and AUCs were less variable after intraventricular administration of MTX. Conclusion: The administration of intralumbar but not intravenous probenecid increases the ventricular CSF MTX exposure after intralumbar MTX administration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-240
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001


  • Cerebrospinal fluid
  • Intrathecal
  • Methotrexate
  • Nonhuman primate model
  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Probenecid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cancer Research
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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