Introduction: Hepatic drug metabolism by cytochrome P450 enzymes is altered by the nutritional status of patients. The expression of P450 enzymes is partly regulated by the constitutive androstane receptor (CAR). Fasting regulates the expression of both P450 enzymes and CAR and affects hepatic drug clearance. We hypothesized that the fasting-induced alterations in P450 mediated drug clearance are mediated by CAR. Methods: To investigate this we used a drug cocktail validated in humans consisting of five widely prescribed drugs as probes for specific P450 enzymes: caffeine (CYP1A2), metoprolol (CYP2D6), omeprazole (CYP2C19), midazolam (CYP3A4) and s-warfarin (CYP2C9). This cocktail was administered to wild type (WT, C57Bl/6) mice or mice deficient for CAR (CAR-/-) that were either fed ad libitum or fasted for 24 hours. Blood was sampled at predefined intervals and drug concentrations were measured as well as hepatic mRNA expression of homologous/orthologous P450 enzymes (Cyp1a2, Cyp2d22, Cyp3a11, Cyp2c37, Cyp2c38 and Cyp2c65). Results: Fasting decreased Cyp1a2 and Cyp2d22 expression and increased Cyp3a11 and Cyp2c38 expression in both WT and CAR-/- mice. The decrease in Cyp1a2 was diminished in CAR-/-in comparison with WT mice. Basal Cyp2c37 expression was lower in CAR-/- compared to WT mice. Fasting decreased the clearance of all drugs tested in both WT and CAR-/- mice. The absence of CAR was associated with an decrease in the clearance of omeprazole, metoprolol and midazolam in fed mice. The fasting-induced reduction in clearance of s-warfarin was greater in WT than in CAR-/-. The changes in drug clearance correlated with the expression pattern of the specific P450 enzymes in case of Cyp1a2-caffeine and Cyp2c37-omeprazole. Conclusion: We conclude that CAR is important for hepatic clearance of several widely prescribed drugs metabolized by P450 enzymes. However the fasting-induced alterations in P450 mediated drug clearance are largely independent of CAR.
de Vries, E. M., Lammers, L. A., Achterbergh, R., Klümpen, H. J., Mathot, R. A. A., Boelen, A., & Romijn, J. A. (2016). Fasting-induced changes in hepatic P450 mediated drug metabolism are largely independent of the Constitutive Androstane Receptor CAR. PLoS ONE, 11(7), [e0159552]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0159552