Publications : 2013

Kirman CR, Aylward LL, Suh MHarris MAThompson CMHaws LCProctor DM, Lin SS, Parker W, Hays SM. 2013. Physiologically based pharmacokinetic model for humans orally exposed to chromium. Chem Biol Interact 204(1):13-27. doi:pii: S0009-2797(13)00082-3. 10.1016/j.cbi.2013.04.003.


A multi-compartment physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) model was developed to describe the behavior of Cr(III) and Cr(VI) in humans. Compartments were included for gastrointestinal lumen, oral mucosa, stomach, small intestinal tissue, blood, liver, kidney, bone, and a combined compartment for remaining tissues. As chronic exposure to high concentrations of Cr(VI) in drinking water cause small intestinal cancer in mice, the toxicokinetics of Cr(VI) in the upper gastrointestinal tract of rodents and humans are important for assessing internal tissue dose in risk assessment. Fasted human stomach fluid was collected and ex vivoCr(VI) reduction studies were conducted and used to characterize reduction of Cr(VI) in human stomach fluid as a mixed second-order, pH-dependent process. For model development, toxicokinetic data for total chromium in human tissues and excreta were identified from the published literature. Overall, the PBPK model provides a good description of chromium toxicokinetics and is consistent with the available total chromium data from Cr(III) and Cr(VI) exposures in typical humans (i.e., model predictions are within a factor of three for approximately 86% of available data). By accounting for key species differences, sources of saturable toxicokinetics, and sources of uncertainty and variation, the rodent and human PBPK models can provide a robust characterization of toxicokinetics in the target tissue of the small intestine allowing for improved health risk assessment of human populations exposed to environmentally-relevant concentrations.