Research communications in molecular pathology and pharmacology

Binding of alkyl- and alkoxy-substituted simple phenolic compounds to human serum proteins.

PMID 11334365


Wood creosote, primarily a mixture of simple alkyl- and/or alkoxy-substituted phenolic compounds with closely related structures, has long been used as an oral antidiarrheal agent. The use of wood creosote as a parenteral antidiarrheal agent was investigated, and for basic pharmacokinetic data we measured the extent of equilibrium binding of its six major constituent phenolic compounds to human serum proteins using an ultrafiltration method. The percent binding of these major constituent phenolic compounds, namely phenol, guaiacol, p-cresol, o-cresol, creosol and 4-ethylguaiacol, bound to 40-mg/ml human serum albumin was 15.5+/-0.9, 28.0+/-1.5, 37.2+/-0.7, 52.3+/-5.3, 36.8+/-2.0 and 56.7+/-2.4%, respectively, while percent binding to human serum (68 mg protein/ml) was 41.3+/-0.7, 42.6+/-0.5, 64.8+/-0.4, 70.1+/-1.6, 65.7+/-0.2 and 83.1+/-0.1% (mean +/- standard deviation, n = 4), respectively, when tested individually at a concentration of 500 micromol/l. Saturation of binding was not observed for the phenolic compounds up to a concentration of 50 mmol/l. Phenolic compounds with a lipophilic substituent showed higher percent binding to proteins than those without it. We conclude that simple phenolic compounds having alkyl- and/or alkoxy-substituents bind to serum proteins to a considerable extent and that the binding is hydrophobic and nonspecific.