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

The effect of tricyclic antidepressants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and newer antidepressant drugs on the activity and level of rat CYP3A.

The aim of the present study was to investigate the influence of tricyclic antidepressants (TADs: imipramine, amitriptyline, clomipramine, and desipramine), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs: fluoxetine and sertraline) and novel antidepressant drugs (mirtazapine and nefazodone) on the activity of CYP3A measured as a rate of testosterone 2beta- and 6beta-hydroxylation. The reaction was studied in control liver microsomes in the presence of the antidepressants, as well as in microsomes of rats treated intraperitoneally (i.p.) for 1 day or 2 weeks with pharmacological doses of the drugs (imipramine, amitriptyline, clomipramine, nefazodone 10 mg kg(-1) i.p.; desipramine, fluoxetine, sertraline 5 mg kg(-1) i.p.; mirtazapine 3 mg kg(-1) i.p.), in the absence of the antidepressants in vitro. The investigated antidepressants added to control liver microsomes produced some inhibitory effects on CYP3A activity, which were very weak (most of TADs, K(i)=145-212 microM), modest (clomipramine and sertraline, K(i)=67.5 and 62 microM, respectively) or moderate (nefazodone and fluoxetine, K(i)=42 and 43 microM, respectively). Mirtazapine did not display this kind of properties. One-day exposure of rats to TADs substantially decreased the activity of CYP3A in liver microsomes, which was maintained during chronic treatment. The observed decreases in the enzyme activity were in contrast to the increased CYP3A protein level found after chronic treatment with TADs. On the other hand, sertraline increased the activity of the enzyme after its prolonged administration and its effect correlated positively with the observed elevation in CYP3A protein level. Fluoxetine, mirtazapine and nefazodone did not change the activity of CYP3A in liver microsomes after their administration to rats. Three different mechanisms of the antidepressants-CYP3A interaction are postulated: 1) a direct inhibition of CYP3A by nefazodone, SSRIs and clomipramine, shown in vitro, with the inhibitory effect of nefazodone being the strongest, but weaker than the effects of this drug on human CYP3A4; 2) in vivo inhibition of CYP3A produced by 1 day and maintained during chronic treatment with TADs, which suggests inactivation of the enzyme by reactive metabolites; 3) in vivo induction by sertraline of CYP3A produced only by chronic treatment with the antidepressant, which suggests its influence on the enzyme regulation.[1]


  1. The effect of tricyclic antidepressants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and newer antidepressant drugs on the activity and level of rat CYP3A. Haduch, A., Wójcikowski, J., Daniel, W.A. European neuropsychopharmacology : the journal of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology. (2006) [Pubmed]
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