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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Induction of cytochrome P450 2B1 by pyrethroids in primary rat hepatocyte cultures.

Numerous xenobiotics are capable of inducing their own metabolism and by enzyme induction can also lead to enhanced biotransformation of other xenobiotics. In this project, we examined the influence of pyrethroids (permethrin, cypermethrin, and fenvalerate) on the expression and activity of the phenobarbital (PB)-inducible cytochrome P450 2B1 isoform (CYP2B1) in primary rat hepatocyte cultures. Incubation of hepatocyte cultures with pyrethroids resulted in a marked CYP2B1 induction. Among the tested pyrethroids, permethrin elicited the most pronounced induction of CYP2B1 mRNA, which exceeded maximal induction achieved by PB at concentrations approximately 10-fold higher. Furthermore, permethrin induced CYP3A1 mRNA expression, while the expression of the CYP1A1 isoform, which in vivo is not responsive to PB treatment, was not significantly affected by pyrethroids. Permethrin-dependent enhancement of CYP2B1 and CYP3A1 mRNA expression was repressed by the hepatotrophic cytokine epidermal growth factor, which is known to also inhibit PB-dependent induction of CYP2B1. Several metabolites of permethrin formed by hepatocytes (3-(2',2'-dichlorovinyl)-2,2-dimethylcyclopropanecarboxylic acid, 3-phenoxybenzyl alcohol, and 3-phenoxybenzoic acid) were ineffective in inducing CYP2B1 mRNA. Furthermore, permethrin stimulated the expression of the luciferase reporter gene under control of the CYP2B1 promoter (comprising the PB-responsive enhancer module) in transiently transfected primary hepatocyte cultures. Thus, permethrin-stimulated gene expression occurred on the transcriptional level. Taken together, these results indicate that the pyrethroid permethrin is a PB-like inducer. Due to its superior potency in induction, permethrin appears as a useful substance for mechanistic studies to elucidate the mechanism of enzyme induction by phenobarbital.[1]


  1. Induction of cytochrome P450 2B1 by pyrethroids in primary rat hepatocyte cultures. Heder, A.F., Hirsch-Ernst, K.I., Bauer, D., Kahl, G.F., Desel, H. Biochem. Pharmacol. (2001) [Pubmed]
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