Effect of microsomal enzyme inducers on the soluble enzymes of hepatic phase II biotransformation

T. N. Thompson, J. B. Watkins, Z. Gregus, C. D. Klaassen

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64 Scopus citations


Numerous xenobiotics induce microsomal enzymes such as cytochrome P-450-dependent monooxygenases, epoxide hydrolase, and UDP-glucuronyltransferase by causing an increase in enzyme synthesis. Since induction of soluble enzymes involved in phase II biotransformation has not been thoroughly studied, effects of the following microsomal enzyme inducers on three important soluble enzymes were examined: phenobarbital (PB), 3-methylcholanthrene (3-MC), butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), isosafrole (ISF), pregnenolone-16α-carbonitrile (PCN), 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), and trans-stilbene oxide (TSO). Representative microsomal enzymes of phase I pathways were examined simultaneously to indicate effective induction. The inducers selected produced the expected increases in hepatic cytochrome P-450 (75-170%), ethylmorphine (200-260%), and benzphetamine (100-260%) N-demethylation, benzo[a]pyrene hydroxylation (300%), ethoxyresorufin O-deethylation (2700%), and styrene oxide hydration (100-270%). The soluble conjugative enzymes studied were glutathione S-transferase, N-acetyltransferase, and sulfotransferase. Glutathione conjugation of 1,2-dichloro-4-nitrobenzene, 1-chloro-2,4-dinitrobenzene, and sulfobromophthalein was increased by TSO (100-160%), BHA (60-80%), ISF (60-80%), and PB (60-80%). β-Naphthylamine N-acetyltransferase activity was increased by PCN and 3-MC (60 and 40%, respectively). Only PCN was able to enhance sulfotransferase. Sulfation of 2-naphthol, taurolithocholate, and dehydroepiandrosterone was increased by 28, 111, and 140%, respectively. In conclusion, while microsomal enzymes could be readily induced, activity of soluble phase II enzymes was increased to a much lesser extent. Of the inducers studied, PCN was the most effective at increasing activity of soluble enzymes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)400-408
Number of pages9
JournalToxicology and Applied Pharmacology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology

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