PEG 400, a hydrophilic molecular probe for measuring intestinal permeability

Thomas Ma, Daniel Hollander, Pavel Krugliak, Kent Katz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

74 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

There is a widely held misconception that lowmolecular-weight polyethylene glycols are "highly lipophilic" permeability probes and therefore are transported across lipid cell membranes. The relative lipophilicity of polyethylene glycols 400 and 600 were examined by determining their partition coefficients (Kd) in water and organic solvents of increasing relative polarity. The Kd of polyethylene glycol 414 between hexane and water was 0.000015, indicating that there are only 1.5 parts of polyethylene glycol 414 in hexane for 100,000 parts of polyethylene glycol 414 in water. When the Kd was determined in organic solvents with increasing relative polarity or "water character," there was a linear increase in Kd. The relative urinary recovery of individual molecular weight fractions of polyethylene glycol 400 in normal volunteers was analyzed. After oral ingestion, there was a progressive decrease in relative urinary recovery of increasing molecular weight fractions of polyethylene glycol 400 suggesting that increase in the molecular size limited polyethylene glycol intestinal permeability. There was excellent correlation between the relative urinary recovery and the hydrophilicity of the intravenously administered polyethylene glycol 400 fractions. It is concluded that polyethylene glycols 400 and 600 are strongly hydrophilic. Since partitioning of polyethylene glycol into lipid phase is negligible in lipid/water mixtures, they are unlikely to be transported via lipid pathways. The intestinal permeability of polyethylene glycols are governed by their molecular size, and once in circulation their urinary excretion appears to be governed in part by their plasma or water solubility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-46
Number of pages8
JournalGastroenterology
Volume98
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990

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Molecular Probes
Permeability
Water
Hexanes
Lipids
Molecular Weight
Membrane Lipids
polyethylene glycol 400
Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions
Solubility
Healthy Volunteers
Eating
Weights and Measures

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gastroenterology

Cite this

Ma, Thomas ; Hollander, Daniel ; Krugliak, Pavel ; Katz, Kent. / PEG 400, a hydrophilic molecular probe for measuring intestinal permeability. In: Gastroenterology. 1990 ; Vol. 98, No. 1. pp. 39-46.
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PEG 400, a hydrophilic molecular probe for measuring intestinal permeability. / Ma, Thomas; Hollander, Daniel; Krugliak, Pavel; Katz, Kent.

In: Gastroenterology, Vol. 98, No. 1, 01.01.1990, p. 39-46.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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