Because hepatic UDP-glucuronic acid levels decrease upon exposure to volatile anesthetics, the present study was designed to determine the mechanism by which enflurane decreases UDP-glucuronic acid in mice by measuring the concentrations of intermediates and the activities of enzymes in the UDP-glucuronic acid pathway. UDP-glucuronic acid concentrations were decreased by 40% in both male and female mice after 10 min of enflurane-induced narcosis. Concentration of UDP-glucose and the activities of diethylstilbestrol UDP-glucuronosyltransferase and UDP-glucose dehydrogenase were not affected by enflurane treatment. In contrast, nucleotide pyrophophatase activity was increased approximately 50% in both sexes. Thus, the decrease in hepatic UDP-glucuronic acid upon exposure of mice to enflurane is probably due to increased degradation by nucleotide pyrophosphatase.
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