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Drug Metab Dispos. 2001 Oct;29(10):1325-31.

Calcium channel modulators of the dihydropyridine family are human pregnane X receptor activators and inducers of CYP3A, CYP2B, and CYP2C in human hepatocytes.

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Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Montpellier, France.


The expression of three cytochromes P450 (CYP3A4, CYP2C9, and CYP2B6) was investigated in primary human hepatocyte cultures following treatment with four calcium channel modulators (CCM) of the dihydropyridine family, three antagonists (nifedipine, nicardipine, and isradipine), and one agonist (BK8644). Induction of CYP3A4 was studied by Northern blot, Western blot, and enzymatic activity. Induction began between 1 and 10 microM CCM and was dependent on the presence of dexamethasone (100 nM) in the medium. CYP3A4 mRNA accumulation started only after 16 h of treatment because pregnane X receptor (hPXR) synthesis was needed. Cotransfection experiments showed that the proximal and the distal PXR response elements of the CYP3A4 promoter and hPXR (HepG2 cells) or dexamethasone-induced hPXR (primary hepatocytes) were necessary to obtain full induction. Furthermore, glutathione S-transferase pull-down assays demonstrated that the CCM tested can act as hPXR ligands. In addition, cotransfection experiments in CV1 cells showed that these compounds failed to reverse CAR (constitutively activated receptor) inactivation by androstenol. Finally, 10 microM CCM induced both CYP2C9 and CYP2B6, strengthening the evidence that hPXR is involved in the regulation of these genes. All together, these results widen the field of hPXR activators to a new class of ligand, namely the CCM of the dihydropyridine family.

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