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By H. Luellmann, D. Bieger

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Extra info for Color Atlas of Pharmacology (Thieme Flexibook)

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The capillary wall forms the blood-tissue barrier. Basically, this consists of an endothelial cell layer and a basement membrane enveloping the latter (solid black line in the schematic drawings). The endothelial cells are “riveted” to each other by tight junctions or occluding zonulae (labelled Z in the electron micrograph, top left) such that no clefts, gaps, or pores remain that would permit drugs to pass unimpeded from the blood into the interstitial fluid. The blood-tissue barrier is developed differently in the various capillary beds.

Cltot represents the sum of all processes contributing to elimination; it is related to the half-life (t1/2) and the apparent volume of distribution Vapp (p. 28) by the equation: Vapp t1/2 = In 2 x –––– Cltot The smaller the volume of distribution or the larger the total clearance, the shorter is the half-life. In the case of drugs renally eliminated in unchanged form, the half-life of elimination can be calculated from the cumulative excretion in urine; the final total amount eliminated corresponds to the amount absorbed.

Thus, an inactive precursor or prodrug is applied, formation of the active molecule occurring only after hydrolysis in the blood. Some drugs possessing amide bonds, such as prilocaine, and of course, peptides, can be hydrolyzed by peptidases and inactivated in this manner. Peptidases are also of pharmacological interest because they are responsible for the formation of highly reactive cleavage products (fibrin, p. 146) and potent mediators (angiotensin II, p. 124; bradykinin, enkephalin, p. 210) from biologically inactive peptides.

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