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Fundam Clin Pharmacol. 2002 Dec;16(6):455-60.

In vitro effects of tacrolimus on human cytochrome P450.

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  • 1Toxicology laboratory, C.H.U. de BicĂȘtre, AP/HP. 78 rue du General Leclerc, 94270 Kremlin-BicĂȘtre, France.


Tacrolimus, a potent immunosuppressive drug, is known to be metabolized predominantly in the liver by cytochrome P450 3A (CYP3A). In order to determine the potential of tacrolimus to inhibit the metabolism of other drugs, we have investigated its inhibitory effects on specific cytochrome reactions. Specific substrates for the seven cytochromes (CYPs) 1A2, 2A6, 2C9, 2C19, 2D6, 2E1 and 3A4/5 were incubated with human hepatic microsome preparations with or without specific inhibitors or tacrolimus and the metabolites were detected by high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) or fluorimetric methods. All the specific inhibitors reduced or abolished the specific CYP activity. Tacrolimus had no effect on any CYP at concentrations below 1 microM, while at higher concentrations it had a mild inhibitory effect on CYP3A4 and 3A5. These observations suggest that tacrolimus is unlikely to potentiate the effect of coadministered drugs through inhibition of their metabolism in the liver.

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