Role of small intestinal cytochromes P450 in the bioavailability of oral nifedipine

Qing Yu Zhang, Laurence S. Kaminsky, Deborah Dunbar, Jin Zhang, Xinxin Ding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


To determine the effect of intestinal cytochrome P450 (P450) enzymes on the bioavailability of oral drugs, we have examined the metabolism of nifedipine, an antihypertensive drug and a model substrate of CYP3A4, in mouse models having deficient expression of the NADPH-cytochrome P450 reductase. Initial studies were performed on Cpr-low (CL) mice, which have substantial decreases in Cpr expression in all tissues examined, including the small intestine. In CL mice, area under the concentration-time curve (AUC) values for blood nifedipine after intraperitoneal and oral dosing were 1.8- and 4.0-fold, respectively, higher than in wild-type mice, despite increased expression of multiple P450 enzymes in both liver and intestine. The greater extent of the increase in the AUC value for oral than for intraperitoneal nifedipine suggested that intestinal P450s influence the bioavailability of oral nifedipine, a notion supported by results from further studies on LCN and CL-LCN mice. The LCN mice, which have liver-specific Cpr deletion, had 6.9-fold higher AUC values and 2.2-fold higher Cmax values for blood nifedipine than did wild-type mice after oral nifedipine, consistent with the critical role of hepatic P450s in systemic nifedipine clearance. However, in the CL-LCN mice, which have global decreases in Cpr expression in all tissues examined and Cpr deletion in the liver, AUC and Cmax values for oral nifedipine were, respectively, 2.2- and 1.8-fold higher than in LCN mice, confirming the fact that P450-catalyzed metabolism in the small intestine, the portal-of-entry organ for oral drugs, plays an important role in the first-pass clearance of oral nifedipine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1617-1623
Number of pages7
JournalDrug Metabolism and Disposition
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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