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Drug Metab Dispos. 2007 Jul;35(7):1203-8. Epub 2007 Apr 23.

Esterase inhibition by grapefruit juice flavonoids leading to a new drug interaction.

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Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics, Drug Safety and Disposition, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Cambridge, MA, USA.


Our previous studies described a newly identified potential of grapefruit juice (GFJ) in mediating pharmacokinetic drug interactions due to its capability of esterase inhibition. The current study identifies the active components in GFJ responsible for its esterase-inhibitory effect. The esterase-inhibitory potential of 10 constitutive flavonoids and furanocoumarins toward p-nitrophenylacetate (PNPA) hydrolysis was investigated. The furanocoumarins bergamottin, 6',7'-dihydroxybergamottin, and bergapten, and the glycoside flavonoids naringin and hesperidin, at concentrations found in GFJ or higher, did not inhibit the hydrolysis of PNPA by purified porcine esterase and human liver microsomes. However, the flavonoid aglycones morin, galangin, kaempferol, quercetin, and naringenin showed appreciable inhibition of PNPA hydrolysis in purified porcine esterase, and human and rat liver systems. In Caco-2 cells, demonstrated to contain minimal CYP3A activity, the permeability coefficient of the prodrugs lovastatin and enalapril was increased in the presence of the active flavonoids kaempferol and naringenin, consistent with inhibition of esterase activity. In rats, oral coadministration of kaempferol and naringenin with these prodrugs led to significant increases in plasma exposure to the active acids. In addition, in portal vein-cannulated rats, coadministration of lovastatin with kaempferol (10 mg/kg) led to a 154% and a 113% increase in the portal plasma exposure to the prodrug and active acid, respectively, compared with coadministration with water. The contribution of CYP3A inhibition was demonstrated to be minimal. Overall, a series of flavonoids present in GFJ are identified as esterase inhibitors, of which kaempferol and naringenin are shown to mediate pharmacokinetic drug interaction with the prodrugs lovastatin and enalapril due to their capability of esterase inhibition.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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