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Pharmacokinetics of Subcutaneous Alpha Lipoic Acid, a Proposed Therapeutic Aid for Domoic Acid Intoxication in California Sea Lions (Zalophus Californianus)


Pharmacokinetics of Subcutaneous Alpha Lipoic Acid, a Proposed Therapeutic Aid for Domoic Acid Intoxication in California Sea Lions (Zalophus Californianus)



Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine: Official Publication of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians 52(3): 872-879



ISSN/ISBN: 1042-7260

PMID: 34687502

Domoic acid (DA) is a potent neurotoxin produced by certain marine algae that can cause neurologic and cardiac dysfunction by activating glutamate receptors. Glutamate receptor overexcitation results in continuous cellular activation, oxidative damage, and cell death. DA toxicosis causes disorientation and seizures, and antiseizure medications are the primary treatment. Alpha lipoic acid (ALA), a powerful antioxidant and glutathione precursor widely used in humans and dogs, can cross the blood-brain barrier to provide antioxidant availability to brain tissue. Hundreds of stranded California sea lions (CSL; Zalophus californianus) are diagnosed annually with DA toxicosis and thus are an appropriate animal in which to establish ALA dosing recommendations for treatment. The objective of this study was to determine the population pharmacokinetics of a single 10- or 20-mg/kg dose of ALA administered subcutaneously into the interscapular region to healthy rehabilitated CSL. Blood was collected at two time points between 15 min and 24 h after administration. Serum ALA concentrations were measured by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, and parameters were evaluated using a nonlinear mixed effects model. ALA was rapidly absorbed for each dose, peaking within 20 to 30 minutes, and t1/2 of 40 and 32 min (10 and 20 mg/kg, respectively), followed by an initial steep distribution phase and prolonged elimination phase. Peak concentration (CMAX) was 1,243 ng/ml (10-mg/ml dose) and 5,010 ng/ml (20-mg/ml dose). Serum from 13 CSLd with DA toxicosis treated with 10 mg/kg ALA for 1 to 9 d had measurable levels, and ALA was also measurable in cerebrospinal fluid from two treated CSLs. Therapeutic effects are noted with a CMAX of 4,000 to 5,000 ng/ml in humans; thus in CSLs, 20 mg/kg administered subcutaneously once daily may be sufficient to achieve a therapeutic level in this species. Determination of efficacy and optimal dosing interval and duration require additional investigation.

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Accession: 072271149

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