Pharmacokinetics of cotinine in rats: A potential therapeutic agent for disorders of cognitive function

Pei Li, Wayne D. Beck, Patrick M. Callahan, Alvin V. Terry, Michael G. Bartlett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background Attention has been paid to cotinine (COT), one of the major metabolites of nicotine (NIC), for its pro-cognitive effects and potential therapeutic activities against Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other types of cognitive impairment. In order to facilitate pharmacological and toxicological studies on COT for its pro-cognitive activities, we conducted a pharmacokinetic (PK) study of COT in rats, providing important oral and intravenously (IV) PK information. Methods In this study, plasma samples were obtained up to 48 h after COT was dosed to rats orally and IV at a dose of 3 mg/kg. Plasma samples were prepared and analyzed using a sensitive liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) bioanalytical method, providing concentration profiles of COT and metabolites after oral and IV administrations. Results The data were fitted into a one-compartment model and a two-compartment model for the oral and IV groups, respectively, providing important PK information for COT including PK profiles, half-life, clearance and bioavailability. The results suggested fast absorption, slow elimination and high bioavailability of COT in rats. Conclusions Several important facts about the PK properties in rats suggested COT could be a potential pro-cognitive agent. Information about the pharmacokinetics of COT in rats revealed in this study is of great importance for the future studies on COT or potential COT analogs as agents for improving cognition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)494-500
Number of pages7
JournalPharmacological Reports
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2015


  • Cognition
  • Cotinine
  • Hydrophilic interaction chromatography
  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Tandem mass spectrometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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