This work studied the buccal absorption of metoprolol in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo as a function of buffered pH at 7.4, 8.5, 9.0 and 9.5. Permeability studies showed a correlation (r(2)=0.92) between in vitro TR146 cell culture and ex vivo porcine buccal mucosa in a modified Ussing chamber. A higher apparent permeability was observed at higher pH values, i.e. the more compound that was unionised the higher the permeability. In vivo studies were conducted in anaesthetised Göttingen mini-pigs. A clear influence of pH on the absorption was seen and a significant higher absolute bioavailability was obtained after buccal dosing (58-107%) compared to oral (3%) administration, ranging 58-107% and 3%, respectively. Macroscopically, no local toxic effects were observed by visual inspection of mini-pig cheeks. A very clear level C in vitro in vivo correlation (r(2)=0.98) was obtained between the observed in vitro permeabilities and the bioavailability observed in vivo, suggesting that the two in vitro models have good predictive power for drug delivery, which could be a useful tool for future formulation developments intended for buccal delivery.
European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2013, Vol 49, Issue 2, p. 117-124