The circadian rhythms of the toxicity and the pharmacokinetics of methotrexate (MTX), as well as the effects of manipulation of feeding schedule on the rhythms, were investigated in mice. Male ICR mice were housed under a standardized light-dark cycle (12:12) with food and water ad libitum (ALF) or under the time-restricted feeding (TRF) schedule (8 hr during the light phase) for 1 day or 14 days before the drug administration. The animals received MTX (100 mg/kg, i.p.) once daily for 7 days in the toxicity studies and a single dose of MTX (100 mg/kg, i.p.) for the kinetic studies. Under the ALF, a significant dosing time dependency was demonstrated for the toxicity of MTX with a longer survival time for the middark dosing and a shorter one for the midlight dosing. The MTX kinetics also showed a significant rhythm, with the highest clearance at middark and the lowest one at midlight. The rhythm in MTX kinetics well coincided with that in the toxicity of the drug. The TRF had a marked influence on the rhythms of MTX kinetics and toxicity. Thus, the timing of dosing is important in the kinetics and the toxicity of MTX in mice, and the manipulation of feeding schedule can modify the rhythm of the toxicity by changing that of the MTX kinetics.
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