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

Species differences in the hepatic formation of green pigments following the administration of norethindrone.

Metabolic activation of the ethynyl substituent of the contraceptive steroid norethindrone to cause the loss of hepatic cytochrome P-450 and the formation of green pigments has been compared in vivo and in vitro in rat, hamster, guinea pig, rabbit, mouse and hen and with marmoset and human liver microsomal preparations in vitro. In vivo green pigment accumulation in the liver 4 hr after the administration of norethindrone (100 mg/kg, i.p.) varied 60-fold between species. Male rat was the most active in this respect, the hen was the least active. The accumulation of green pigments in female rats was 27% that of male animals. This sex-dependent difference was not seen in male and female mice. Cytochrome P-450 destruction in vivo was also greatest in the male rat given norethindrone, whereas no loss was detected in the hen. In other species, however, the correlation between green pigment accumulation and cytochrome P-450 destruction was not particularly good. When liver microsomes were incubated with norethindrone and an NADPH generating system in vitro, the ranking order between species with respect to the initial rates of green pigment formation was similar to that based on the hepatic accumulation of these compounds found in vivo. Human liver microsomes showed initial rates of green pigment formation which were only 2% of that seen in the male rat. No destruction of human microsomal cytochrome P-450 caused by norethindrone could be detected. The HPLC elution profile of the green pigments produced in the liver following the administration of norethindrone differed between species. Hepatic microsomal preparations in contrast, at least with short incubation times, formed only one green pigment. Results suggest that further metabolism of either norethindrone or the green pigment, involving a cytosolic factor(s), results in the varied HPLC patterns seen in vivo.[1]


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