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

Histamine inhibition of mixed function oxidase activity in rat and human liver microsomes and in the isolated perfused rat liver.

The imidazole ring is a common structural feature of some xenobiotics that inhibit cytochrome P-450-catalysed reactions. Histamine is a 4-substituted imidazole and a preliminary study has shown it to be an inhibitor of rat liver microsomal drug oxidation. This work has now been extended. Histamine appears to be a competitive inhibitor of the alpha-hydroxylation (HM) (Ki = 164 microM; IC50 at 20 microM = 308 microM) and O-demethylation (ODM) (Ki = 243 microns; IC50 at 20 microM = 400 microM) of metoprolol in rat liver microsomes. Of the metabolites of histamine only N-acetylhistamine showed comparable inhibitory potency to that of the parent compound. Histamine impaired the disappearance of lignocaine when incubated with rat liver microsomes. This was accompanied by a corresponding inhibition of 3-hydroxy-lignocaine appearance. Histamine produced a type II spectral interaction with rat liver microsomes (lambda max = 432 nm, lambda min = 408 nm; Ks = 0.11 mM). When histamine was incubated alone with rat liver microsomes no loss of substrate was observed. The oxidation of metoprolol by human liver microsomes was impaired by histamine (IC50 values for ODM appearance at 25 microM: liver HL1 greater than 10, HL3 = 3.8 and HL4 = 3.7 mM). In comparison, cimetidine had an IC50 value of 1.5 mM using microsomes from liver HL3. Addition of histamine impaired the elimination of metoprolol by the isolated perfused rat liver in a dose-dependent manner (P less than 0.001, one-way analysis of variance). These data demonstrate that histamine can enter hepatocytes, interact with cytochrome P-450 and inhibit some drug oxidation reactions. The physiological relevance of inhibition of drug metabolism by histamine remains to be determined.[1]


  1. Histamine inhibition of mixed function oxidase activity in rat and human liver microsomes and in the isolated perfused rat liver. Morris, C.Q., Tucker, G.T., Crewe, H.K., Harlow, J.R., Woods, H.F., Lennard, M.S. Biochem. Pharmacol. (1989) [Pubmed]
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