Role of intestinal cytochrome P450 enzymes in diclofenac-induced toxicity in the small intestine

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36 Scopus citations


The aim of this study was to determine the role of small intestinal (SI) cytochrome P450 (P450) enzymes in the metabolic activation of diclofenac (DCF), a widely used nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, and DCF-induced intestinal toxicity. DCF induces intestinal ulcers in humans and mice, but the underlying mechanisms, including the necessity for drug bioactivation in the target tissues and the sources and identities of reactive intermediates, are not fully understood. We found that the number of DCF-induced (at 50 mg/kg p.o.) intestinal ulcers was significantly smaller in an intestinal epithelium (IE)-specific P450 reductase (CPR) knockout (IE-Cpr-null) mouse model, which has little P450 activity in the IE, than in wild-type (WT) mice, determined at 14 h after DCF administration. The involvement of intestinal P450 enzymes was confirmed by large reductions (>80-90%) in the rates of in vitro formation, in SI microsomal reactions, of hydroxylated DCF metabolites and reactive intermediates, trapped as DCF-glutathione (GSH) conjugates, in the IE-Cpr-null, compared with WT mice. The SI levels of DCF-GSH conjugates (at 4 h after dosing) and DCF-protein adducts (at 14 h after dosing) were significantly lower in IE-Cpr-null than in WT mice. In additional experiments, we found that pretreatment of mice with grapefruit juice, which is known to inhibit SI P450 activity, ameliorated DCF-induced intestinal toxicity in WT mice. Our results not only strongly support the notion that SI P450 enzymes play an important role in DCF-induced intestinal toxicity, but also illustrate the possibility of preventing DCF-induced intestinal toxicity through dietary intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)362-370
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology


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