Dose-dependent pharmacokinetic parameters of KR-31378, a new neuroprotective agent for ischaemia-reperfusion damage, were evaluated after intravenous and oral administration of the drug at doses of 5, 10 and 25 mg/kg to male beagle dogs. After intravenous administration, the dose-normalized (based on 5 mg/kg) areas under the plasma concentration-time curve from time zero to time infinity (AUC values, 725, 1450 and 2300 micro g min/ml for 5, 10 and 25 mg/kg, respectively) were significantly different among the three dose ranges studied; the value increased more proportionally as the dose increased. This could be due to slower total body clearance (Cl) with increasing doses (6.90, 3.46 and 2.17 ml/min/kg). The slower Cl value with increasing doses may be due to saturable metabolism of KR-31378 in dogs. After oral administration, the dose-normalized (based on 5 mg/kg) AUC values (833, 1450 and 1920 micro g min/ml) at 5 mg/kg were significantly smaller than those at 10 and 25 mg/kg. Note that the AUC values were comparable (not significantly different) between intravenous and oral administration at all doses studied, indicating that the absorption of KR-31378 from the gastrointestinal tract was essentially complete and the first-pass (gastric, intestinal and/or hepatic first-pass) effects were almost negligible in dogs.