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Metabolic Activation of Benzodiazepines by CYP3A4 (2008)

Metabolic Activation of Benzodiazepines by CYP3A4 (2008)

  1. Jatelka
    Drug Metabolism and Disposition 2008 Nov 12. [Epub ahead of print]

    Mizuno K (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/e...l.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_RVAbstractPlus), Katoh M (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/e...l.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_RVAbstractPlus), Okumura H (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/e...l.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_RVAbstractPlus), Nakagawa N (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/e...l.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_RVAbstractPlus), Negishi T (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/e...l.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_RVAbstractPlus), Hashizume T (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/e...l.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_RVAbstractPlus), Nakajima M (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/e...l.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_RVAbstractPlus), Yokoi T (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/e...l.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_RVAbstractPlus).

    Cytochrome P450 (CYP) 3A4 is the predominant isoform in liver, and it metabolizes more than 50% of the clinical drugs commonly used. However, CYP3A4 is also responsible for metabolic activation of drugs leading to liver injury. Benzodiazepines are widely used for anxiety as hypnotics and sedatives, but some of them induce liver injury in humans. To clarify whether benzodiazepines are metabolically activated, 14 benzodiazepines were investigated for their cytotoxic effects on HepG2 cells treated with recombinant CYP3A4. By exposure to 100 microM flunitrazepam, nimetazepam, or nitrazepam, the cell viability in the presence of CYP3A4 decreased more than 25% as compared with that of the control. In contrast, in the case of other benzodiazepines, the changes in the cell viability between CYP3A4 and control Supersomes were less than 10%. These results suggested that nitrobenzodiazepines such as flunitrazepam, nimetazepam, and nitrazepam were metabolically activated by CYP3A4, which resulted in cytotoxicity. To identify the reactive metabolite, the glutathione adducts of flunitrazepam and nimetazepam were investigated by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. The structural analysis for the glutathione adducts of flunitrazepam indicated that a nitrogen atom in the side chain of flunitrazepam was conjugated with thiol of glutathione. Therefore, the presence of a nitro group in the side chain of benzodiazepines may play a crucial rule in the metabolic activation by CYP3A4. The present study suggested that metabolic activation by CYP3A4 was one of the mechanisms of liver injury by nitrobenzodiazepines.